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Home Local Maryland Government Announcement Originally published October 26, 2012

BGE Planning for the Potential of Several Hundred Thousand Customer Outages Beginning as Early as Sunday Evening



BGE Planning for the Potential of Several Hundred Thousand Customer Outages Beginning as Early as Sunday Evening

Please include the attached press release in upcoming news. Thank you.
 

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company Planning for the Potential of Several Hundred Thousand Customer Outages 
Beginning as Early as Sunday Evening
 
Company is pre-positioning poles, transformers and other electric and natural gas delivery equipment onto vehicles in advance of storm’s arrival
 
Customers reminded to take steps now to protect their families and property; Information available at bge.com
 
 

BALTIMORE, Oct. 26, 2012 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) <http://www.bge.com/Pages/default.aspx>  today announced that as the projected forecast for Hurricane Sandy continues to worsen, customers in central Maryland should anticipate extended and widespread power outages potentially lasting several days. The hurricane is expected to hit central Maryland as early as Sunday and continue through Wednesday. BGE has proactively begun the process of pre-mobilizing several thousand field and support personnel, as well as requesting out-of-state mutual assistance crews in preparation for the potential impact.  BGE has requested approximately 2,000 out-of-state and contract linemen and tree personnel, and is opening its staging site at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport to prepare for the arrival of crews in advance of the hurricane’s full impact.  At this time, BGE has received commitments for approximately 800 out-of-state linemen and tree personnel from Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, who are expected to arrive over the next few days.

Although the projected path and potential impact of the storm remains unknown, Hurricane Sandy is expected to bring heavy rain, up to seven inches in certain parts of the territory, as well as sustained wind of up to 40 miles per hour and wind gusts surpassing 60 miles per hour. The company is anticipating that several hundred thousand customers may be affected. 

 “BGE continues to work diligently to prepare for the potential impact of Hurricane Sandy,” said Jeannette M. Mills, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “While our crews will be in place and our staging site equipped before the arrival of the storm, the projected high winds and heavy rain may result in extended power outages. The severity of the storm may affect our ability to immediately begin our damage assessment and restoration process, as 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 instances of long periods of heavy rain, BGE prepares 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. In cases where flooding affects equipment after 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 should also take the time now to prepare for the possibility of extended outages. BGE urges customers to stay informed, make an emergency plan including emergency phone numbers and an emergency kit, and keep the following items readily available:

·         Flashlights – not candles 
·         Fresh batteries 
·         Battery-operated clock radio 
·         Corded telephone 
·         Fully charged cell phone 
·         Non-perishable foods 
·         Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation
·         First aid kit
·         Local maps
·         Blankets

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 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.  Customers using a generator should follow manufacturer instructions and be sure to locate generators in well-ventilated areas. Customers can find information on preparing for natural disasters and other emergency events at bge.com<http://www.bge.com/customerservice/stormsoutages/stormcenter/pages/default.aspx> , as well as find tips and updated information on storm preparation and restoration progress via BGE’s social media sites Twitter <http://www.twitter.com/myBGE>  and Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/pages/edit/?id=114351251909317#!/pages/Baltimore-MD/MyBGE/114351251909317> .

Customers also are reminded to call 877.778.2222 to report a power outage or downed wire using BGE’s automated system.

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> .