The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion A plane crash and sudden darkness: What happens next?

A plane hit high-voltage power lines on Sunday near Gaithersburg. (Robb Hill for The Washington Post)

Regarding the Nov. 28 Metro article “Pilot, passenger are trapped in plane that hit power lines, causing blackout”:

I’m glad the pilot and passenger of the plane that crashed into high-voltage lines near Gaithersburg on Sunday were rescued and are well.

Now who’s going to pay for this mess? The emergency crews, the economic cost of fixing downed power lines, no electricity for hours for nearly 100,000 homes and businesses, the lost school and work day?

Why should the public pay for the privileged few having access to their own private planes? Do they have to get insurance to cover disasters such as this one?

Mark S. Littman, Keedysville

Sunday night, in a flash, the world became a wasteland. No power meant everything stopped; as far as I could see, everything was pitch-black. An hour later, while I was driving to my parents’ house — with power — traffic was minimal, plazas were shut down, four-way traffic lights were out. I passed a horrible collision with two totaled cars in the dark. We were lucky: My husband connected the important items in our home to a generator.

We knew about the plane crash fairly quickly. My mom said, “Two people’s lives are worth a power outage!” Still, we wanted to stay warm and comfortable and off the dark streets, so we stayed at my parents’ house.

When power was restored to the entire county by 11:30 p.m., I was awestruck. Dumbfounded. How did they do that? How did they save the people in the plane and restore electricity in such an amazingly short time?

Truth is: I have no idea. But as one from the nearly 100,000 homes and businesses affected, I just wanted to say thank you to Pepco for amazing work. So many people complain that it’s not fast enough when dealing with the overwhelming, unforeseeable acts that cause power outages, and I don’t know whether anyone ever thanks them. But what they did in this case was nothing short of a miracle.

Kirsten Hawkins, Silver Spring