BGE Restores Nearly 7,000 Customers; Company Expects Additional Outages to Occur as Strong Storms Continue to Move through Central Maryland this Evening
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Baltimore Gas and Electric Company Restores Nearly 7,000 Customers;
Company Expects Additional Outages to Occur as Strong Storms Continue to Move through Central Maryland this Evening. Customers should continue to report outages and downed wires by calling 1.877.778.2222
BALTIMORE, Sept. 18, 2012 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) <http://www.bge.com/Pages/default.aspx> today announced that it is working safely and swiftly to restore service to customers who lost power as a result of this afternoon’s thunderstorm activity and high wind. As of 5:00 p.m., BGE has restored service to nearly 7,000 customers affected by the first few rounds of storms, which brought with high wind, heavy rain and lightning. The company expects to continue to see outage numbers increase as additional severe weather and storms continue to move through its service area this evening and into early tomorrow. BGE crews were pre-mobilized this afternoon in anticipation of weather-related outages and will work around-the-clock to restore service as safely and as quickly as possible. Customers are reminded to stay informed of restoration progress via bge.com <http://www.bge.com/> , Twitter <http://www.twitter.com/myBGE> and Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/pages/edit/?id=114351251909317#!/pages/Baltimore-MD/MyBGE/114351251909317> .
“BGE crews are aggressively restoring service to our customers who lost power as a result of today’s strong storms, and we will continue to respond to expected new outages throughout the evening as safely and as quickly as possible, as heavy rain and high wind gusts continue to move through our service area,” said Jeannette M. Mills, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “BGE’s restoration priorities first focus on public safety such as downed wires, followed by critical infrastructure, including hospitals and 911 centers. Once these issues have been addressed, field assignments will be prioritized in a way that restores service to the greatest number of customers at one time. Consideration will also be given to customers who have been out of service the longest. As always, we thank our customers for their patience and understanding.”
High wind and heavy rain can bring whole trees and tree limbs onto power lines and electrical equipment, causing outages. Removing the trees and tree limbs – a task that must be completed before work can begin to fix damaged electric equipment – is time consuming and will extend outage durations. Certain types of work such as repairs requiring the use of bucket trucks cannot be safely performed when the wind exceeds 25 miles per hour. In that case, BGE will begin restoring service as soon as it is safe to do. The safety of our employees, contractors and customers is our first priority at BGE.
BGE reminds its customers to report downed wires and outages by calling 1.877.778.2222. Once an outage is reported, there is no need to report it again, unless a customer experiences a subsequent outage after service is restored. Since additional storm activity is forecasted to affect central Maryland throughout the evening and early tomorrow, customers may experience multiple outages throughout this storm event.
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 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 bge.com <http://www.bge.com/Pages/default.aspx> .
Just as BGE prepares for severe weather and the possibility of power outages, customers should also be prepared and take steps to ensure the safety of their families and property during electric service interruptions. Customers should keep the following items readily available:
Flashlights – not candles
Battery operated clock radio
Fully charged cell phone
Given the heavy rain that accompanies today’s severe weather, BGE is planning for the very real potential of not only outages relating to overhead power lines, but also outages caused by flooding in cases where water enters gas and electric meters. BGE reminds its customers that BGE's responsibility for gas and/or electric service ends at the meter. Beyond the meter, customers are responsible for all wiring, pipe, appliances, breaker boxes and any other gas or electric-related equipment or service inside the home or business. Customers are urged to consider the following safety tips:
Proceed with care if you have experienced flooding in your basement and or other areas of your home
Do not enter a room with standing water, particularly if the water covers electrical outlets or electrical cords that are plugged into outlets
Ensure the electrical system is shut off before entering a flooded room or basement
Do not attempt to shut off your electrical system if you have to stand in water or on a wet floor to do so
If you experienced flooding, do not turn on any lights or appliances without having a comprehensive inspection performed by a licensed electrician and also by a registered plumber with a gasfitter's license for gas appliances.
Customers also should consider filling the fuel tanks of their vehicles in the event a power outage affects service to neighborhood gas stations. For customers who rely on well water, filling a bathtub with water in advance of severe weather is strongly encouraged.
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 <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> .