WEATHER

Local residents, power companies recover one year after the derecho

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Saturday marks one year since the devastating derecho swept through the D.C. area, knocking out power for days and damaging hundreds of homes.

Local residents won't soon forget it. And the derecho helped power companies change the way they operate.

Carol Capuano dealt with a lot of damage to her home.

"Back up in this area, where the skylight is, the tree came down and broke the skylight," Capuano says. "The firemen were here, the police were here. And they told us we immediately had to get out of the house because we had live wires outfront. They didn't want anyone in here to be harmed. In the middle of it, the tree had come down and kind of ripped down the side of it."

It took months to get her home fixed.

"We finally got the carpeting and everything all done, also," she says. "We were lucky so I can't complain about that."

It was a lesson for homeowners and for power companies, like Pepco.

"The straight-line winds did have a significant impact and would still have a significant impact on the overhead system that we currently have," says Caryn Bacon, Pepco Emergency Preparedness Director

Since the massive storms, the company has spent $180 million in infrastructure repairs. They have added underground power lines in certain neighborhoods, newer equipment on poles and an effort to trim trees and vegetation.

And they've doubled the number of customer service reps ready to take your call during any storm.

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