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Duquesne Light updates outage map after storm knocked out power for days: "We can do better"

People without power in Ross Township looking for answers from power company
People without power in Ross Township looking for answers from power company 03:08

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Duquesne Light acknowledged it had limited communication with tens of thousands of customers after severe storms knocked out power for days during a heat wave last week

In an email to customers on Tuesday, Duquesne Light Company said it hopes to address the communication issues with a new map that will provide "consistent and accurate information" about outages by zip code, county and community along with more precise estimated restoration times.

The company said over 90,000 customers lost power after strong storms quickly swept through the area last Monday. The utility company said heavy winds knocked down trees and broke utility poles, causing more than 1,000 separate incidents. It took until Friday to fix the outages, though many customers saw their power restored before then.

One Ross Township resident still without power 48 hours after the storms said when she called Duquesne Light, there was no information about when it was coming back on. The Laurel Gardens fire chief also pointed to a lack of communication. 

"We know many of you lost power for several days in extreme heat," Duquesne Light said in its email. "While this storm was out of our control, our limited communication with you about outage progress was not. We know that we can do better." 

Duquesne Light said its team has been working on new technology, and while it wasn't available last week, it is now. On top of an updated outage map, the company said there's also a new personalized alert system that will let people opt into restoration progress through texts, phone calls and emails. 

"We know it is essential for Duquesne Light Company to provide exceptional service to all of our 600,000 customers in Allegheny and Beaver counties. Through ongoing investments we've made in our people, processes and technology, we'll be more prepared to respond when severe weather comes your way. We're confident that this new technology will help us do that," Duquesne Light said. 

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