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Restoring Power to Take Days

More than 400,000 without power in Central Maryland; 400 linemen arriving from FL and MS in 2-3 days, BGE officials say.

More than 400,000 Baltimore Gas and Electric customers in Central Maryland remain without electricity in the wake of a powerful and swiftly moving storm that passed through the area Friday night.

BGE spokesperson Rob Gould said that it will likely be several days before power is restored to all customers.

"We know this is going to be a multi-day response," Gould said at BGE's storm operations command center in northwest Baltimore County. "This is not something where we'll be able to restore power in a couple of days."

According to BGE's storm center page, more than 418,000 customers--or about a third of the 1.2 million customers the utility company serves in Central Maryland--were without electricity by mid-day Saturday.

Power outages were reported throughout the area served by BGE, including Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford, Howard, Montgomery and Prince Georges counties.

Gould said that BGE is still in the process of assessing the damage from the storm--which could be compounded by severe winds that are forecast to move through the region Saturday night.

"We'll be in the assessment phase today and tomorrow [Sunday]," Gould said.

The first priorities for utility crews are police stations, water pumping stations, fire stations and other facilities related to public safety, he said.

Once power has been restored to public safety facilities, "we'll be looking for feeders that serve a large number of customers, so we can restore power to the most people as quickly as we can," Gould said.

The lowest priority are individual customers and small clusters where power is out, he said.

About 650 BGE crews are on the streets Saturday, which will be augmented by about 400 linemen called in from Mississippi and Florida, according to Gould.

It will take 2-3 days for crews from out of state to arrive in the area, he said.

During last year's Hurricane Irene, about 1,000 crews assisted with power restoration efforts, according to Gould.

Friday night's storm moved so quickly and affected so large an area, that utility companies had no time to prepare and rally additional resources, Gould said.

Utility crews from Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, DC, that would ordinarily help out in an emergency are dealing with power outages in their own areas, Gould said.

"We didn't have any warning," he said. "Now that everybody is in the same boat, everybody is scrambling."

Chris Montcalmo June 30, 2012 at 06:50 PM
My parents are without power in the Anneslie/Rogers Forge area. Sounds like it could be a rough couple of days for them.
Shannon June 30, 2012 at 07:22 PM
I find it interesting that most larger businesses are up and running already.
Felicia June 30, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I was out and about today - At 11:00, the traffic lights on Joppa from Hartford Road towards Towson were out. The stores in the Mall (where Walmart and DWS shoes are) were all closed. White Marsh mall was fine. Traffic lights on BelAir Road were on except at Silver Spring and BelAir Roads. People should understand how the grids work and not that one store has power just because they are "big". It has to do with location/ grids.
John June 30, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Most larger businesses have backup generators
LeVar June 30, 2012 at 07:55 PM
I agree with you Shannon, we took a drive around the area and it would seem that "particular areas" are up and running, however, one block away power remains out for a large amount of people. Those areas could be on different grids, but it seems funny that this is the same case in every location from Towson to White Marsh - Areas with more businesses seem to be restored.
Bruce Goldfarb (Editor) June 30, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Also, you have to consider that some in some parts of the area, such as White Marsh, more utility lines are buried rather than strung on poles.
You June 30, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Yup! Good point!
You June 30, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Energy grids do not layout in purely squared out patterns based on major roads. You have grids, quads, blocks ect. I find through my surveying and GIS work that lines are laid and expanded as developments grow and are built. It is a bizarre web like layout. Your 80 year old house will probably be on an old above ground system; while, the new apartment community across from you will have underground lines ran to a separate sub-station. (not exact example, but a layman's example). The new communities to the East of Honeygo Shopping Center and Weis are an underground wired system connected to a separate system then the West side of Honeygo along Chapel Rd, which is an old wired system from pre-1950. Underground modern systems are much easier to get back online, because of modern technology and protection systems. The old above ground wired systems on those (old brown poles) cannot be updated unless the landowners along the whole line allow for BGE to replace the, below ground and upgrade the system. (We all know land owners in "Perry Hall" for example hate their properties being touched or worked on or offering some property for the greater good of the whole.) So they have to live with the power outages... it is what it is.
Joy June 30, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Just be glad you are not in PG County. Seems like they are always the last to be served.
gracie June 30, 2012 at 11:38 PM
does any one know if parkville resume power already???
Mari July 01, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Also known as generators... They must have them to stay in business.
PatchFriend July 01, 2012 at 01:25 AM
yes
Other Tim July 01, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Simple economics. Some businesses use thousands of dollars of electric monthly (some tens of thousands). Your home probably uses $100 to $200 in electric monthly. If you owned BGE, which would you focus on?
Kathy Tempesta July 01, 2012 at 01:39 AM
It took a week for bge to get my power back after Irene. I am not optimistic this will be any faster. I'm in one of those "low priority small clusters."
Claire July 01, 2012 at 01:10 PM
We met with BG&E in February about our community's extremely long wait for power and the many (10-12 per month) short interruptions of power, and they promised to work on our line. I can see the homes behind us --built many years before us -- with power. BG&E lies to us and drags its heels. We have over 300 homes on our grid and NO ONE In our area has said no to cutting down trees to help with our problem (and BG&E has indicated that our grid is mostly underground cables), yet here we are -- probably without power for our average 6 to 8 days. I will be doing what many fed up neighbors have been forced to do, and installing a whole house generator. We have solar panels that we can't use in an outage.
Terry Hess July 01, 2012 at 02:44 PM
500 out south of Jarrettsville. Does that mean days? Just asking.
Voter July 01, 2012 at 02:46 PM
I wonder if Councelman David Marks can keep us a little more informed about which areas BGE is working on form time to time. Just so we can plan ahead a little. BGE does not really give you any information on outage repairs. How about Perry Hall ? Are they working on it, and may we please get an approximation on repairs ? I know it's a difficult thing, but PLEASE give us something to lay our hopes on. Thanks !
Mike Pierce July 01, 2012 at 02:54 PM
And why do your think Councilman Marks would have better information than BGE does? He's good, but not that good!
Voter July 01, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Because many politicians have a direct contact person they can call in such cases. Persons in a "powerful" position often get answers that we, the commoners, cannot get.
chryssie July 01, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Anyone know how it is near longgate in ellicott city?
Daniel Reinhardt July 01, 2012 at 07:28 PM
I'd also like to know why business seem to get power right away I live off of a major roadway yet I have seen no BGE trucks anywhere in sight. BGE also has poor communication I called their number for an Etr for 21228 and nothing. It's pathetic homes then businesses should be the order of priority. Lives can be lost due to this heat and Id think that lives should be of higher priority then money.
Travis July 01, 2012 at 07:38 PM
If you mean grocery stores, they are kinda important for civilization so people have somewhere to buy food and ice. Also, easier restore in many cases as they are fed off of larger equipment and higher voltages closer to the substations.
Joanne McAuliffe July 01, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Westminster 21158 - Lake Drive - we experience several outages per year - many lasting greater than 5 days. What is the best method of learning the progress of restoration activities - does BGE share updates?
Anna Renault July 02, 2012 at 11:14 AM
Claire, I'd love to discuss solar power with you. I've applied to install some at my house. Never thought about the drawback during power outages. ALSO, y'all, MEMS has a webpage that updates regularly about the outages; the governor is also tweeted updates. Baltimore County has regular updates on their website also about storm related activities. Check them out for the latest. As of 11 pm Sunday, electric out in the county was an estimated 76,000... definitely WAY down and progress is being made even before the out-of-state, out-of-the-country assistance arrives... some of which is due to arrive today!
Maureen of Maryland Hypnosis July 02, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Warning about eating food that needs refrigeration: I did not think about this when I ordered take-out from a little Chinese kitchen on Sunday. Now I wish I did. They were closed all day Saturday, and did not even have a single ice cube to spare for my 'cold' drink. I ate chicken that had been unrefrigerated for more than 24 hours and really felt bad afterwards! Note to future self: DON'T do that!

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