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Home Local Maryland Government Announcement Originally published October 28, 2012

BGE Positioning More Than 3,000 Employees, Contractors and Out-of-State Linemen and Support Personnel in Expectation of Hurricane Sandy's Arrival



BGE Positioning More Than 3,000 Employees, Contractors and Out-of-State Linemen and Support Personnel in Expectation of Hurricane Sandy's Arrival  

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

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company Positioning More Than 3,000 Employees, Contractors and Out-of-State Linemen and Support Personnel in Expectation of Hurricane Sandy’s Arrival  
 
BGE has requested 500 additional mutual assistance personnel in advance of storm's arrival; BGE will continue to take action to secure and apply available resources to restore service as quickly and safely as possible
 
BGE’s restoration work will be ongoing, even after the storm has passed, and customers are advised to remain alert as outages may continue to occur during restoration phase
 

BALTIMORE, Oct. 28, 2012 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) <http://www.bge.com/Pages/default.aspx>  today announced that it is mobilizing more than 3,000 employees, contractors and out-of-state linemen, tree personnel and support staff in an effort to prepare for extensive system damage and widespread outages, due to Hurricane Sandy’s forecasted arrival in the central Maryland service area. Since Friday, approximately 1,300 out of a requested 2,500 out-of-state and contract linemen, tree personnel and support staff from Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas have committed  to assist BGE in restoring service to customers as safely and as quickly as possible. BGE’s sister utility, ComEd, an Exelon company based in Chicago, is also providing support to the company’s preparation and restoration efforts. BGE is planning for the potential of several hundred thousand outages that could result from this unusual late-season hurricane. Hurricane Sandy is expected to arrive in BGE’s service area today, bringing heavy rain, flooding and high wind over the next several days. 

“We continue to urge our customers to prepare and review their emergency preparedness plan with their family as we face the likelihood that Hurricane Sandy will result in extended, widespread power outages lasting several days,” said Jeannette M. Mills, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “In addition to providing information through the media, on our website,bge.com, and our social media sites, we have proactively reached out to our 1.2 million customers via an automated phone call and for our customers with special needs, we have made three calls over the last several days. In addition, we sent an email to customers for whom we have email addresses in our system, urging them to prepare.

“We continue our work to proactively mobilize more than 3,000 people at our BGE facilities and four staging sites, located at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, M&T Bank Stadium, Timonium Fairgrounds and Ripken Stadium,” said Mills. “While we are prepared to make every effort to restore service to our customers as quickly as possible, the safety of our employees and customers is always our first priority. It is likely that the projected heavy rain, flooding and extensive tree debris will likely result in conditions, including unsafe and inaccessible roads, that will delay our ability to begin our damage assessment and service restoration. In addition, certain types of work such as repairs requiring the use of bucket trucks cannot be safely completed when the wind exceeds 25 miles per hour.”

BGE anticipates that an estimated time for restoration of the entire system may not be available until damage assessments are complete and the company works through the first phases of the restoration process to repair the electric system backbone and public safety sites.  In order to limit the understandable frustration that results when the company can’t restore power by a given time, estimated times for restoration on a feeder and individual customer basis will only become available to customers as BGE works through the damage to its system and the company has high confidence in their accuracy. 

Customers should not only prepare for outages during the storm, but also have resources in place for extended outages even after the storm passes, as Hurricane Sandy is expected to bring sustained winds of up to 40 miles per hour with gusts possibly exceeding 60 miles per hour and heavy rainfall in excess of five inches, with the possibility of more in parts of the territory. This combination is likely to cause extensive damage to BGE’s electric distribution system as whole trees and large tree limbs fall onto power lines and other equipment. 

Customers are reminded to report power outages and downed wires through 1.877.778.2222. As always, customers are urged stay away from downed power lines and never to assume they are de-energized, even if the power to the area appears to be out. Customers are also reminded to obey Maryland’s new traffic law that went into effect Oct. 1, which states that all drivers must makes a complete stop when approaching a non-functional traffic light before entering any crosswalk or before entering the intersection.

In addition to visiting BGE’s online Storm Center <http://www.bge.com/customerservice/stormsoutages/stormcenter/pages/default.aspx>  for important information on how to prepare for an approaching storm, customers should always have the following basic items on hand:

·         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

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 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> .

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> .