Areas where crews are working today now available online
Magnitude of Hurricane Irene rivals that of Hurricane Isabel in 2003 during which 790,000 customers lost power
BALTIMORE, Aug. 31, 2011 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced that it has restored electric service to more than 80 percent of the approximately 750,000 customers who experienced electric service interruptions as a result of Hurricane Irene. The storm is approaching the magnitude of Hurricane Isabel with respect to the number of customers impacted, yet BGE is currently on a pace to restore service to all affected customers in fewer days than it took to restore service to the 790,000 customers affected by Hurricane Isabel in 2003.
The utility recognizes the frustration and inconvenience being experienced by customers whose service has not yet been restored. In an effort to keep customers informed of restoration work, the utility is posting on its website, the areas where crews are working each day. Additionally, BGE is contacting some customers via automated telephone message alerting them if crews are scheduled to restore their service within the next 24 hour period. Customers can also stay informed on restoration progress via www.bge.com, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
“Nearly 5,000 people including out-of-state linemen and support staff, BGE employees and contractors are actively engaged in the restoration effort and 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,” said A. Christopher Burton, senior vice president of operations and planning for BGE. “All available resources are being deployed and BGE remains committed to working around-the-clock until service to each and every one of our customers 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. BGE appreciates the assistance and cooperation of these officials and organizations.
“BGE has attempted to call customers with a recorded message today alerting them if crews are expected to be in their area and advising them that BGE expects to restore the majority of that area today or early tomorrow,” said Jeannette M. Mills, senior vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “While we understand extreme inconvenience and frustration associated with an extended power outage, BGE is committed to keeping its customers informed of the restoration progress that’s being made on behalf of its customers.”
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.