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Originally posted 8/30/2007:

For years, Crestwood has suffered from an unacceptable number of electrical outages. Now, PEPCO is participating in community meetings and putting forth an aggressive upgrade plan to improve the electrical infrastructure serving our neighborhood.

On December 6, 2006, PEPCO officials including PEPCO Regional President Thomas Graham met with residents of ANC 4C07 (Petworth), ANC 4C03 (parts of Crestwood and Petworth), and members of the Crestwood community. PEPCO disclosed that the electrical feeder that serves most of Crestwood -- feeder 15197 -- has been the worst performing feeder in the entire DC metro region. The officials described recent actions that had been taken to improve service, but conceeded that those enhancements had failed to achieve acceptable levels of service. As a result, a series of additional upgrades is in progress and expected to be fully implemented within six months.

Feeder 15197 is especially long, running from the Fort Slocum substation near North Capitol and Oglethorpe Streets along Nicholson Street to 9th Street, where it turns south down to Allison, at which point it turns west and runs into Crestwood. The 9th Street segment is underground, but the reminder is above ground and at the mercy of the numerous trees in its path. Over half of the outages affecting feeder 15197 have been caused by tree-related incidents which is why they are more common in the summer months when the trees are in leaf and storms are more frequent.

Most of PEPCO's planned upgrades are aimed at making Feeder 15197 less susceptible to tree damage. Large segments will be replaced with "PAC" cable -- a heavily insulated cable that is less likely to be broken by a tree strike. Even if this type of cable is knocked off a pole, it will continue to function. Additional above-ground portions in Crestwood will be replaced with "tree wire" -- a cable with heavier-than-normal insulation (but not as much as "PAC" cable) that can also better withstand tree damage. The long lead time for procuring PAC cable accounts for most of the installation delay. Neighborhood residents have already noticed the upgrade to tree wire in parts of Crestwood.

Residents attending the December 6 meeting posed a number of questions which PEPCO representatives were not immediately able to answer. PEPCO's subsequent response to those questions is contained in this document:

In addition, ANC Commissioner Shanel Anthony (4C07) submitted several written questions to which PEPCO responded in this document (there is quite a bit of overlap with the previous document):

PEPCO also provided maps of three area feeders.

  • Feeder 15011 (161.0 kB PDF) -- services the northeast corner of Crestwood
  • Feeder 15015 (169.3 kB PDF) -- services Petworth but does not extend to Crestwood
  • Feeder 15197 (941.1 kB PDF) -- services most of Crestwood. This map also highlights planned upgrades. The file is very large and you will probably need to zoom out to see it.

The Crestwood Citizens Association has arranged another meeting with PEPCO to be held on January 16th at Grace Lutheran Church. Tom Chused has prepared some background information and a list of questions for the meeting. You can view that document here:

PEPCO has provided community bulletins during the work on Feeder 15197, which you can view here:

PEPCO has now completed work on Feeder 15197! The last community bulletin is here:

This website and the Crestwood Citizens Association is supported by the dues of CCA members. Membership has its benefits including access to members-only resources and the knowledge that you are supporting a great neighborhood!

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