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PECO BRACES FOR MAJOR WINTER STORM

 PHILADELPHIA, March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Weather services are forecasting the possibility of a major winter storm this weekend, and Philadelphia Electric Company (NYSE: PE) (PECO) is taking steps today in preparation for possible damage to its electric distribution system.
 The forecast calls for a powerful weather system bringing gale force winds and precipitation in the form of snow and/or rain that could present potentially dangerous conditions for PECO electric facilities.
 If PECO customers experience electric service interruption, customers are urged to notify the company as soon as possible at 215-841-4141, or 1-800-841-4141. Customers can assist the company by having their PECO account number available, reporting downed wires and describing other conditions that may present a hazard.
 PECO has been reviewing staffing availability within the company, with contractors, and neighboring utilities to ensure a full workforce can combat the storm's effects. PECO plans as many as 200 line crews in addition to tree crews to respond to the weekend storm. Added telephone operators and support staff will be on hand as well.
 Stan Johnson, PECO System Operations manager, said the Company began gathering weather information midday Thursday and initiating steps that could support the company's response, if severe weather becomes damaging to electric facilities.
 Johnson said the pending storm would be the third the region has endured this winter. The Dec. 11-12 wind and rain storm was the fifth worst in PECO's history, and the recent March 4-5 storm caused substantial damage as well. Both storms interrupted service to more than 100,000 PECO customers.
 He added the forecast of wet snow and gusty winds presents a worrisome combination. "While we cannot alter the weather or minimize the vulnerability of distribution facilities, we can take steps that allow us to respond as quickly as possible when power outages occur," he said.
 PECO said it strongly urges everyone to keep away from downed wires. All wires must be considered energized.
 PECO also provides tips to customers who may experience lengthy power outages:
 -- have candles readily available, as well as batteries for a portable radio to obtain news information;
 -- limit opening of refrigerator or freezer to preserve food; food can be preserved for 24 to 48 hours in a refrigerator.
 -- unplug electronic devices to minimize potential for power surges when service returns;
 PECO asks customers who may experience service interruption to be patient. Unlike other damaging storms, this storm with its strong winds and snow accumulations could make restoration very difficult. PECO crews would be confronted with mobility problems, and the expected winds make clearing trees, replacing wires and equipment, and other repairs formidable.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/12/93
 /CONTACT: Michael Wood of Philadelphia Electric, 215-841-4125/
 (PE)


CO: Philadelphia Electric Company ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI SU:

MJ -- PH007 -- 5441 03/12/93 10:22 EST
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Date:Mar 12, 1993
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