By Jeannette M. Mills, VP, Customer Operations & Chief Customer Officer
In the previous blog, I updated you about BGE’s preparations for Hurricane
Sandy. We’ve recently added some video of our mobilization efforts. The first video provides an overview of our warehouse operations
stocking all of the necessary supplies for our crews to use in repairing damage caused by the hurricane. We stock equipment and supplies year round and bring in more in anticipation of major storms like Hurricane Sandy.
The second video takes a look at what is involved with coordinating the mobilization
, including readying the thousands of company employees and out-of-state crews for work. To date, we've received confirmation that approximately 1,300 of the 2,000 out-of-state utility workers that we've requested will be arriving as early as tomorrow. Crews will be based at regional staging areas located at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore City, Ripken Stadium in Harford County, Timonium Fairgrounds in Baltimore County and BWI Airport in Anne Arundel County. Additional crews will filter in to support the effort as the final path of the storm becomes more apparent and regional utilities are able to release resources to assist with the effort.
We will be adding more video throughout the storm on BGE’s YouTube Channe
l and photographs on our Flickr photostream
. We want you to be able to see our preparations, especially work that normally goes unseen but that nevertheless takes place year round and especially ramps up in intensity in the days ahead of major storms. Being without power can be frustrating and extremely difficult, especially if you are unaware of the work that is being done to get your power restored.
I want to again emphasize that even though BGE is extremely well prepared for Hurricane Sandy, you still need to make personal preparations for multi-day power outages
. The size of this storm and the likelihood that its effects will linger over the area for an extended period will impede restoration efforts. 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. Couple that with poor road conditions due to possible flooding and extensive tree debris, and we can expect clean-up to be an extended process.
We also anticipate that an estimated time for restoration of the entire system may not be available until damage assessments are complete and BGE works through the first phases of the restoration process to repair the electric system backbone and public safety sites. Estimated times for restoration on a feeder and individual customer basis will only become available as BGE works through the damage to its system.
The storm’s progress slowed somewhat, but we are still looking at see the first rain and wind as early as Sunday night. Please keep in mind the best way to report power outages and downed wires is through 1.877.778.2222. This number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Do not assume your outage has already been reported. You will be prompted for the phone number associated with the account so please have that ready. Report an outage or downed wire only once. Calling more than once to report the same outage will not speed the restoration process. If you experience a new outage once power has already been restored, you should report the new outage.
Finally, we continue to hear words of support for our employees and the crews coming from elsewhere to help. They appreciate your understanding of what is taking place to make sure we meet this latest weather challenge. Thank you.