A power outage brought much of the nation's capital to a standstill for more than two hours Friday as the White House went to a backup generator, stranded commuters escaped the snarled Metro by trudging up stalled escalators and federal workers milled outside darkened buildings.
Frustrated officials muttered darkly about the "Friday the 13th" blackout as some government employees were given the rest of the day off. Pepco, the utility provider, reported power was restored to all customers before 11 a.m.
The power went out at 7:25 a.m., idling arriving office workers outside darkened workplaces. Two small fires on Metro tracks snarled morning subway commutes. It wasn't clear whether the fires were caused by power problems, which have been blamed in the past for track fires.
At one point, Pepco reported more than 18,000 customers without power. A single office building is one customer, and it was unclear how many affected were residential users, and how many were commercial customers.
The White House went smoothly to backup power.