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Four months after the derecho walloped Washington and left more than a million people without electricity, Pepco’s looking to avoid a repeat with Hurricane Sandy, which could hit Washington by Sunday.

Pepco spokesman Bob Hainey says that the utility has activated its emergency teams ahead of the hurricane, which has been compared to 1991’s “perfect storm.” The Post‘s Capital Weather Gang has put the chances of a “worst case” hit on Washington at 30 percent.

Pepco has also also locked down any contractors working for the utility so they can’t leave to work elsewhere. “These are the people…they go where the money is,” says Hainey.

Pepco has started talking about mutual aid with other power companies, according to Hainey, but the storm’s path is still so unclear that no companies are committing crews.

While Pepco has more warning this time than it did for the derecho, Hainey wouldn’t speculate about whether the hurricane will definitely not be as bad as the derecho in terms of power outages. “It’s up to the storm,” he says.

Correction: This article originally listed the “perfect storm”‘s date as 2001, not 1991.

Photo courtesy National Hurricane Center