We had a recent storm that knocked out power to the metro DC area. By some estimates, several hundred thousand were without power. In any case, when I was growing up in Penang, we were never out of power for more than 24 hours at a time and storms there were just as bad as they can get here. What does that say about how well Pepco responded to restoring service -- not much I'm afraid.
In all fairness there are differences between Washington DC and Penang at the time:
1. Fewer people
2. Fewer trees that can knock down power lines
In any case, Pepco still has a ways to go in communicating how long a certain area can expect to get their power back. Right now their line seems to be more like this: "We're working really hard to get power back to everyone. We know it seems strange that your neighbor behind you has power and everyone else on your block is out (which did happen to us!) but we are working behind the scenes to optimally bring as many people back on line as we can at a time. Please let us do our work peacefully. Everything may seem haphazard but there really is a method to this that only those who work in the industry can understand. So please bear with us."