Approximately 97,000 customers restored in first storm; new outages expected to continue during second wave of snowfall
BALTIMORE, Feb. 10, 2010 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), a subsidiary of Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG), today announced it is restoring electric service to customers as the second major snowstorm in less than a week hits Central Maryland. The utility expects additional outages to occur throughout the day as freezing rain, heavy wet snow and high wind bring tree limbs and trees down onto power lines. The current weather system combined with last week’s heavy wet snow increases the likelihood of power outages as tree limbs and entire trees already weakened by the first storm are particularly vulnerable during this storm. Current weather conditions are also causing blizzard conditions on roads, making driving extremely hazardous for BGE’s service restoration crews.
“BGE’s top priority is the safety of our employees and our customers and as such, we continue to remind customers to call BGE at 1-877-778-2222 to report a downed wire or power outage,” said A. Christopher Burton, senior vice president of gas and electric operations and planning for BGE. “While employees are working around-the-clock to restore electric service to our customers as safely and as quickly as possible, they are working under extremely challenging and hazardous conditions which will extend the restoration process. We thank our customers for their patience and understanding.”
To assist customers in managing extended outages, BGE reminds customers to keep the following items readily available:
Flashlights – not candles
Battery operated clock radio
Fully charged cell phone
Customers also should consider filling the fuel tanks of their vehicles in the event a power outage affects service to neighborhood gas stations. For our customers who rely on well water, filling a bathtub with water in advance of severe weather is strongly encouraged. Customers using a generator or space heater should follow manufacturer instructions and be sure to locate generators in well-ventilated areas.
Additionally, customers with special needs such as those who may be elderly, handicapped or dependent on electricity for medical equipment, should have alternate arrangements in place should they experience an extended power outage. BGE's restoration priorities are public safety issues and critical facilities, such as 911 centers, hospitals and pumping stations. Then restoration is generally scheduled so that the greatest number of customers can be restored as quickly and as safely as possible. However, in cases of extended power outages, consideration is also given to customers who have been without service for the longest.
Customers are reminded to always stay clear of downed wires and to call BGE at 1-877-778-2222 to report downed wires, power outages or any unsafe condition involving gas or electric delivery. For more information about BGE storm preparation and how customers can protect their families and property, go to www.bge.com <http://www.bge.com> .
In addition to monitoring current and approaching weather conditions which could result in service interruptions, BGE regularly conducts emergency training drills during which all aspects of storm related service restoration are tested. BGE also reviews its Electric Delivery Emergency Response Plan to ensure that storm response procedures are up-to-date and in line with industry standards.
BGE, www.bge.com <file:///C:\Documents%20and%20Settings\e48945\Local%20Settings\Temporary%20Internet%20Files\OLK9A\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 wholly-owned subsidiary of Constellation Energy, www.constellation.com <file:///C:\Documents%20and%20Settings\e48945\Local%20Settings\Temporary%20Internet%20Files\OLK9A\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.