Delmarva Power washing off salt-coated North Bethany lines again

Delmarva Power crews are resuming their efforts today to pressure-wash utility lines and equipment along Route 1 between the Indian River Inlet and an area just north of Bethany Beach to remove sea salt carried inland by winds from the weekend nor’easter.

The combination of salt buildup and moisture can cause arcing, sparking, blown fuses, pole fires and extensive power outages, Delmarva Power representatives noted. Some customers are typically seeing their lights blink repeatedly, and, in some cases, losing power altogether.

Delmarva Power crews are being assisted in their power-washing efforts by local volunteer fire companies. Similar work was done in the same area early last week, when windy weather caused salt to coat lines and equipment. Once the weekend storm passed, salt-laden air began to drift inland, causing the salt buildup again on the electrical infrastructure, they explained.

To perform such work safely, lines and equipment are de-energized, which means some customers could experience intermittent power interruptions. Affected communities include Cotton Patch Hills, Pelican’s Pouch, Ocean Village, Bayberry Dunes, The Sanctuary and Sussex Shores.

“We need to power-wash the lines or hope for a hard rainfall to wash off the salt,” said John Allen, Delmarva Power region vice president.

If customers see downed wires, or notice loud noises or electrical arcing, they should stay away from the wires and call Delmarva Power at 1-800-898-8045, they advised.