BALTIMORE, -- BGE today announced that it has restored power to more than 77 percent of customers within 24 hours since the high winds associated with this storm diminished on Tuesday morning. The company continues to make strides in assessing damage and repairing public safety issues like downed wires and critical facilities such as 911 centers, hospitals and water/sewage treatment centers. At the same time, crews are also focusing on the “backbone” of our distribution system - including transmission and sub-transmission feeders, substations and distribution feeders. These repairs restore power to the largest number of customers at once and must be completed before service to downstream customers can be restored.
“Tonight, we urge those observing Halloween trick-or-treating to be particularly careful, especially as it relates to numerous remaining downed wires and other hazards,” said Jeannette M. Mills, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “BGE has safety standby personnel safeguarding many downed wires, but understand that not all downed wires are reported or known, and some additional lines may continue to fall. Always assume all wires are energized and dangerous. Those planning to trick or treat are encouraged to plan a route in advance while it is light to make sure there are no downed wires. Additionally, children should be accompanied by adults and limit activity after dark. Those out in limited light or darkness should wear bright, reflective clothing and carry flashlights.”
Customers are reminded to stay away from downed wires and never touch or try to move a wire of any type, as well as be observant for caution tape, safety cones, rope or other equipment that may be blocking a downed wire or other hazard. Never attempt to cross a taped or guarded area, and obey the instructions of public safety officials who may be safeguarding an area. Customers are urged to report downed wires, as well as power outages, by calling 1.877.778.2222.
“We’re thankful to the nearly 1,900 out-of-state and contract linemen, tree personnel and support staff from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas, including those from our sister utility – ComEd, who have joined our BGE crews or are en route to one of our four staging sites,” said Mills. “More than 5,000 field and support forces are committed to restore service to our customers as safely and quickly as possible.”
To learn more about where our crews will be and when, customers are encouraged to visit bge.com <http://www.bge.com/customerservice/stormsoutages/stormcenter/pages/default.aspx> to review a list of areas <http://www.bge.com/customerservice/stormsoutages/stormcenter/pages/crew-work-locations2.aspx> where crews will be working throughout the day. Please be aware that this is not a fully inclusive list. We ask for patience and understanding as these crews work tirelessly to restore power to all of our customers. Even when not immediately visible in your neighborhood, crews may be repairing damage elsewhere in an effort to restore electricity to those in your community.
BGE anticipates that an estimated time for restoration of the entire system will not be available until damage assessments are complete and the company works through the first phases of the restoration process to repair the electric system backbone and public safety sites, which may not be until later today or tomorrow. BGE may not be able to provide estimated restoration times for single electric feeder lines or individual customers until damage to the system is assessed and the company has high confidence in the accuracy of repair time estimates. Even with this precaution, customers are reminded that these timeframes may change as restoration efforts continue and specific outage causes are analyzed.
BGE’s approach to service restoration is in line with industry standards, and focuses first on public safety and critical infrastructure issues, followed by work that will restore the largest number of customers at once, factoring in customers who have been without power the longest. BGE’s balanced approach to service restoration ensures crews are working simultaneously in every jurisdiction where BGE has customers. As part of BGE’s standard process during major events, the company is in regular communication with state and local public and elected officials and emergency operations centers, helping to ensure a coordinated effort between the jurisdictions and the utility. BGE appreciates the assistance and cooperation of these officials and organizations.
Customers should visit BGE’s online Storm Center <http://www.bge.com/customerservice/stormsoutages/stormcenter/pages/default.as for important information on how to stay safe before, during and after a storm, including important safety tips on flooding <http://www.bge.com/customerservice/stormsoutages/currentoutages/pages/gas-outages.aspx> . As a reminder, BGE customers who may be elderly, handicapped or dependent on electricity for medical equipment, should always have alternate arrangements in place should they experience an extended power outage. Customers are also reminded to obey Maryland’s new traffic law that went into effect Oct. 1, which states that all drivers must make a complete stop when approaching a non-functional traffic light before entering any crosswalk or before entering the intersection. Restoration updates can also be found on BGE’s social media sites Twitter <http://www.twitter.com/myBGE> and Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/pages/edit/?id=114351251909317#!/pages/Baltimore-MD/MyBGE/114351251909317>
BGE <http://www.bge.com/Pages/default.aspx> , headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,400 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider with approximately $33 billion in annual revenues. Like us on Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/myBGE> and follow us on Twitter <http://twitter.com/mybge> , YouTube <http://www.youtube.com/baltimoregaselectric> and Flickr <http://www.flickr.com/photos/mybge> .