Lights go back on at several D.C. agencies after 36-hour outage

The lights were coming back on at the General Services Administration building on First Street in Northeast Washington late Thursday afternoon, a spokesman said, more than 36 hours after damage to underground power lines cut electricity to the complex and several other federal offices, businesses and private homes.

Power was also coming back late Thursday at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, according to a spokesman for Pepco, Washington's main electric utility provider.

Pepco was restoring power in phases at the GSA complex and other major complexes in the affected area "to prevent a sudden overload of the system," according to spokesman Bob Hainey and to a company statement.

All the affected buildings are located within about 10 blocks of each other near First Street in Northeast Washington.

Employees of the affected agencies either worked from home or in temporary office space Wednesday and Thursday or were on administrative leave. Agency officials were unable to give an estimate of how many employees teleworked during the outage, but a 2010 Office of Personnel Management report on the status of telework in the federal government suggests 23 percent of GSA employees, about half of FERC employees, and nearly one-third of EEOC employees are unable to telework because of a job-related barrier. The report did not have figures for ATF.

GSA made arrangements for alternate work spaces during the outage at its 1800 F St. facility and at its National Capital Region headquarters in Washington. The agency also offered employees use of offices of the Federal Acquisition Service in Crystal City in Arlington, Va.

GSA said it was "following procedures and processes refined from experiences like the 'snowmageddon' snowstorms of February 2010."

Pepco missed several self-imposed deadlines to restore power because of new damage it found.

"Power was temporarily restored last night at 9 p.m. at both FERC headquarters buildings at 888 and 1100 First Street, NE," the agency reported Thursday morning. "However, it was lost again shortly around 11 p.m."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.