For Immediate Release
Regional staging areas operating out of Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore and BWI Airport in Anne Arundel County in addition to BGE service centers
BALTIMORE (March 6, 2018) – BGE is focused on returning power to the remaining approximately 9,000 customers still affected by Winter Storm Riley, the powerful nor'easter that caused extensive damage throughout central Maryland. More than 2,800 employees and contractors are working to complete restorations overnight and into tomorrow.
The destructive nor'easter, Winter Storm Riley, inflicted heavy damage along the East Coast beginning last Friday. Strengthening significantly beyond forecasts, the storm delivered high sustained winds and gusts through the 70-mph-range for more than 48 hours. Utilities from Mid-Atlantic to New England reported more than 2.6 million power outages at the storm's peak and more than 200,000 customers remain out across all affected utilities. Each of Exelon's Mid-Atlantic utilities mobilized in advance of the storm and were joined by crews from ComEd, Exelon's utility in Illinois. Exelon worked with the mutual assistance networks to supplement its own crews with additional line workers, contractors and support staff from more than 16 states and Canada to form a force of nearly 7,500 working on the restoration.
"We have flooded the region with our technicians and more than 950 line workers from outside the storm's path to finish the job of restoring power to all of our customers," said Rodney Oddoye, vice president of customer operations and chief customer officer for BGE. "As we deploy all available resources from BGE and the assistance crews from across the country to bring power back safely to the remaining customers affected by last week's winds, we are also keeping a close eye on the forecast to ensure that we can respond to any issues new weather may bring."
Crews are working in around-the-clock shifts to restore service as safely and quickly as possible, with more than 435,000 BGE customers having been restored already. Final repairs to pockets of more heavily damaged areas are continuing into mid-week.
Crews from BGE's Exelon sister utility ComEd in Illinois, as well as from utilities in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Pennsylvania, Texas and Canada are assisting in BGE's restoration effort. Resources are operating out of regional staging areas at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore and BWI Airport in Anne Arundel County.
If additional outages occur due to forecasted weather, supplemental crews will be on hand to support restorations. The company's greatest concern with Winter Storm Quinn is the potential for heavy, wet snow, which can stick to tree limbs and overhead power lines. An accumulation of wet snow could coat tree branches bringing them down into power lines and causing service interruptions for customers. Strong winds are also expected, which could result in damage and outages for customers.
While outages continue to decrease, the pace of the number of customers restored will be slower than during the first few days of the storm. This is because much of the remaining work on the system is extremely labor intensive and time consuming. Once completed, these jobs are likely to restore service to smaller groups of customers at a time – in many cases only a single customer.
BGE asks all customers, including those with smart meters, to report their outage. Outages may be reported online at BGE.com and via BGE's free mobile app available at the Apple Store or Google Play. Customers may also report outages and downed wires by calling 877-778-2222, on BGE.com and through mobile devices. To sign up for email and text notifications, visit BGE.com/alerts.
Customers with special needs, such as those who may be elderly, disabled or dependent on electricity for medical equipment, should have alternate arrangements in place should they experience an extended power outage.
BGE's restoration priorities are public safety and critical care 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 critical customers with life and health risks such as senior centers and assisted living facilities and also to customers who have been without service for the longest.
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BGE, founded in 1816 as the nation's first gas utility and headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland's largest natural gas and electric utility. The company's approximately 3,200 employees are committed to safe and reliable power delivery to more than 1.25 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. J.D. Power's 2017 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study SM ranked BGE highest in customer satisfaction with business electric service in the east among large utilities. The company also has an estimated annual economic impact of $5 billion of output in its service area, supporting more than 9,500 local jobs and producing $923 million in labor income. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.