Service restored to more than 100,000 customers since series of storms began on Friday
Utility closely watching Hurricane Irene, which could affect the Mid-Atlantic by this weekend
BALTIMORE, Aug. 22, 2011 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced that it has restored electric service to more than 100,000 customers since Friday, including more than 54,000 customers affected by Sunday’s storms. BGE has been working around-the-clock since Friday, when a series of strong weather systems began impacting BGE’s Central Maryland service area with heavy rain, lightning and wind gusts of up to 50 mph which brought down whole trees and very large tree limbs onto power lines and other electric equipment. The utility is also closely monitoring the track of Hurricane Irene, which could affect BGE’s service area by this weekend. The utility encourages customers to stay informed on restoration efforts via www.bge.com, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
“BGE employees have been working very aggressively to restore electric service to customers following powerful back-to-back storms, and we have made significant progress overnight,” said A. Christopher Burton, senior vice president of gas and electric operations and planning for BGE. “The combination of heavy rain, lightning and strong wind caused trees and tree limbs to come down onto power lines and other equipment, interrupting electric service to thousands of customers in this latest round of severe storms. Even as crews work to restore service to the remaining customers, BGE is keeping an eye toward the weekend when Hurricane Irene could impact its service area. As always, BGE thanks its customers for their continued patience and understanding.”
The customers whose natural gas and electric service was temporarily suspended due to flooding and related safety concerns are reminded to have their gas-fed appliances checked by a licensed plumber and to have their electrical equipment checked by a licensed electrician. Gas and electric service will be restored to these customers once the plumber and/or electrician have made all necessary repairs and BGE determines it is safe to restore service. This issue affects approximately 20 customers in the area of Brentwood Ave. and Trappe Rd. in Dundalk.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more information about BGE storm preparation and how customers can protect their families and property, go to www.bge.com.