Jeannette M. Mills VP, Customer Operations & Chief Customer Officer
Today BGE made great progress restoring power to the remaining customers affected by outages caused by the violent derecho, a fast-moving and destructive storm that spanned more than 600 miles and impacted the mid-Atlantic region on June 29. In addition, BGE’s service area was affected by additional storms later that same week, and an excessive heat wave. As of this writing, approximately 149 customers remain without power as a result of this historic derecho event. In total, BGE has experienced an approximate, additional 100,000 power outages due to thunderstorms and extremely high temperatures subsequent to the original June 29 storm. To put things in perspective, power outages as a result of Hurricane Irene were just over 756,000 in comparison to the nearly 738,000 power outages attributed to recent events. The massive number of outages—almost as many as we experienced during Hurricane Irene— have tested the patience and fortitude of our customers, our out-of-state utility workers, and our employees alike.
As BGE approaches full restoration of electric service to its customers who were affected by the derecho, it is essential that customers, who are still without power and have immediate neighbors who lost power and now have it restored, contact BGE at 1-877-778-2222 to let us know they are still without electric service. In such an instance, it is likely that while BGE restored service to a main feeder line, an unrelated secondary problem, likely at the customer’s residence, may still need to be addressed.
In many cases, crews arrive at a location only to encounter significantly more damage than previously reported. Often, hidden issues, such as damage to an electrical line that serves a single customer or small group of customers, are identified after repairs have been made to a feeder or piece of electrical equipment resulting in service restoration. In such instances, the company must return to make the secondary repair and restoration.
As the weekend draws to a close, and BGE restores the last of our customers to service, we are grateful for your patience and the sacrifices you’ve made. It’s been a difficult period for both our customers and all of the crews working around-the-clock to restore power.
Throughout the restoration process, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has opened several cooling stations throughout the region and customers who are still without power should consider visiting those designated stations as needed. These locations are listed on both the MEMA website at www.mema.state.md.us
. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids, and check on neighbors, friends and family frequently. Remember to report non-medical emergencies by calling 2-1-1 or 3-1-1 in Baltimore City.
As restoration activities continue, BGE is monitoring the weather for the potential of severe weather forecasted for the rest of the weekend. Customers are urged to prepare for the possibility of new, weather-related outages throughout this period.
BGE has all available crews actively engaged until all customers are restored, and has retained several out-of-state utility crews in order to restore service as quickly and as safely as possible, should the system begin to experience weather related outages. 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. Also, customers should prepare a storm kit and a family plan in the case of a power outage. Customers should keep the following items readily available:
- Flashlights (not candles)
- Fresh batteries
- Battery-operated clock radio
- Corded telephone
- Fully charged cell phone
- Non-perishable food
Customers also should consider filling the fuel tanks of their vehicles in the event a power outage affects service to neighborhood has stations. Customers who rely on well water should fill a bathtub with water in advance of severe weather. Visit bge.com for more storm preparedness tips.
Thank you again for your patience and understanding during this stormy, sweltering Baltimore weather.