Utility expects the vast majority of customers to be restored by noon today, with some scattered outages extending into the early afternoon
BALTIMORE, Aug. 20, 2011 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced that it worked around-the-clock to restore electric service to more than 24,000 customers and continues working aggressively to restore service to the remaining customers affected by the strong thunderstorms which passed through its Central Maryland service area Friday evening. The utility expects electric service to the vast majority of customers affected by last night’s storm to be restored by noon today, however due to extensive damage from heavy rain and wind as high as 45 miles per hours, there may be some scattered outages that extend beyond that timeframe. The hardest hit areas were Baltimore City and Baltimore and Anne Arundel Counties. Customers are reminded to stay informed on restoration progress via www.bge.com, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
“After working through the night following Thursday’s storms, BGE proactively extended the shifts of its field forces and increased the number of evening and overnight crews in preparation for Friday’s evening storms, to ensure electric service could be restored as safely and as quickly as possible,” said A. Christopher Burton, senior vice president of gas and electric operations and planning for BGE. “Heavy rain and high wind knocked trees down onto power lines causing outages; however BGE's aggressive restoration effort resulted in significant progress Friday evening. As always, BGE thanks its customers for their patience and understanding.”
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 always reminded to stay away from downed power lines and to report them immediately by calling 1-410-685-0123. Power outages should be reported by calling BGE’s automated system at 1-877-778-2222. For more information about BGE storm preparation and how customers can protect their families and property, go to www.bge.com.
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.
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
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, 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.