Some restoration activities may extend into Tuesday; Utility has already restored service to more than 85,000 customers since Friday afternoon
BALTIMORE, Feb. 7, 2010 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), a subsidiary of Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG), today announced it continues to make significant progress restoring electric service to the remaining customers affected by the historic weekend snowstorm. The vast majority of customers currently out of service as a result of the snowstorm should be restored by late Monday evening although some restoration activity may extend into Tuesday. As of Sunday afternoon, the utility had restored electric service to more than 85,000 customers with the assistance of crews from Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio. The total number of people involved in restoration activities is approximately 1,400 which includes BGE field and office personnel, contractors as well as out-of-state linemen and support staff.
“BGE employees engaged in the restoration effort have done a tremendous job restoring tens of thousands of customers under very challenging conditions. But the work is not over yet. As we get closer to full restoration, much of the work becomes more tedious and more time consuming and may result in fewer customer restorations at one time. We remind our customers that we are doing everything in our power to get them back in service as quickly and as safely as possible,” said A. Christopher Burton, senior vice president of gas and electric operations and planning for BGE. “Additionally, customers are reminded to never approach a downed wire and to call BGE at 1-877-778-2222 right away if they encounter one. BGE will respond as quickly as possible and make the area safe.”
Although the storm has cleared BGE’s service area, there is still the possibility that new outages will occur as trees and tree limbs weighted down and weakened by heavy wet snow could still fall onto power lines and other electric equipment. Customers experiencing new outages should call BGE at the number above to report them.
As people begin the process of digging out their vehicles and clearing driveways and other areas around their homes, customers are reminded to avoid gas and electric meters and attached equipment. Meters should be kept clear of snow and ice buildup to prevent the devices from malfunctioning and possibly interfering with service. When clearing ice and snow from around meters, it is best to use a broom instead of a shovel. Customers with electric heat pumps should also clear snow and ice away from the heat pump to allow the unit to function properly.
To assist customers in managing extended outages, BGE reminds customers to keep the following items readily available:
* Flashlights – not candles
* Fresh batteries
* Battery operated clock radio
* Corded telephone
* Fully charged cell phone
* Non-perishable foods
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.