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Power Companies Gearing Up for Thursday Storms | Weather

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Power Companies Gearing Up for Thursday Storms

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA9) -- Myra Oppel was sitting in her office at Pepco's Headquarters when the Derecho of 2012 hit. 

She watched as the power company's outages jumped from a few thousand to almost half a million. By the time it was all over, more than two-million people in Virginia, Maryland, and the District were in the dark, and it would take nearly two weeks before all the power was restored.

Almost a year later, Oppel met with WUSA9 to discuss what Pepco's doing to prepare for this latest round of storms. 

"We're doing last-minute tree trimming and we're hoping that the work we've been doing over the past few years will pay off in a storm like this," said Oppel. "What we are worried about is the possibility of entire trees coming down. When you have over-saturated soil and heavy winds, that's when you can have those huge trees crashing down on our system. There is nothing we can do to prevent damage to our system in a situation like that."

Thirteen people were killed in the 2012 derecho, most by falling trees. An additional 34 people died due to no power in the heat wave that followed.