BALTIMORE, Aug. 30, 2011 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced that it has restored electric service to nearly 75 percent of the approximately 750,000 customers who experienced electric service interruptions as a result of Hurricane Irene. Additional linemen and support staff from ComEd, based in Chicago, are expected to arrive this evening, bringing to nearly 5,000, the number of BGE, contract and out-of-state personnel actively engaged in the restoration effort. The utility remains confident that it will restore electric service to the vast majority of customers whose service is still out by Friday with some scattered outages possibly extending into Saturday. Customers can stay informed on restoration progress via www.bge.com, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
“BGE recognizes the frustration of many of its customers whose service has not been restored, but it is extremely important that customers refrain from reporting false emergencies such as fictitious gas leaks, which could delay the utility’s response to actual emergencies,” said Jeannette M. Mills, senior vice president of customer relations and account services and chief customer officer for BGE. “BGE’s electric delivery system sustained severe and widespread damage and the process of getting all customers back in service is very time consuming and labor intensive. Rest assured, our employees, contractors and out-of-state utility workers are fully committed to working around-the-clock until service to each and every customer is restored.”
BGE’s balanced approach to service restoration ensures crews are working simultaneously in every jurisdiction where BGE has customers, addressing public safety and critical infrastructure issues across BGE’s Central Maryland service area.
“As part of BGE’s standard process during major events such as Hurricane Irene, 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” said A. Christopher Burton, senior vice president of gas and electric operations and planning for BGE. “BGE appreciates the assistance and cooperation of these officials and organizations.”
Restoration crews are working in “pods,” meaning work that requires multiple crews with different skill sets are traveling together, which allows each crew to begin its work as soon as the crew before them has completed their part of the job. This is a very efficient approach to the restoration effort.
While the number of public safety issues is declining significantly, BGE continues to encourage customers to report downed wires by calling 1-877-778-2222.
As a reminder, BGE customers who may be elderly, handicapped or dependent on electricity for medical equipment who are still without power may want to consider relocating to an alternate location until power is restored. These customers are always encouraged to have alternate arrangements in place should they experience a power outage. Customers using a generator should follow manufacturer instructions and be sure to locate generators in well-ventilated areas. For more information about BGE storm preparation and how customers can protect their families and property, go to www.bge.com.
BGE, www.bge.com, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 640,000 natural gas customers in Central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,000 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 Constellation Energy, www.constellation.com, a FORTUNE 500 company also headquartered in Baltimore, with subsidiaries that generate, sell and provide other energy-related services to customers throughout North America.