Total Number of Outages Exceeds Number of Customers Who Lost Service during Back-to-Back Blizzards of 2010
Customers advised to avoid downed wires and report them immediately at 410-685-0123
Customers asked to please be patient when reporting outages at 1-877-778-2222
BALTIMORE, Jan. 27, 2011 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), today announced it has restored electric service to more than 100,000 customers – more than half of all customers who lost service during yesterday’s winter storm which brought trees and large tree limbs - weighted down by heavy wet snow – down onto power lines and other electric delivery equipment, causing interruptions in electric service. BGE has requested assistance from crews in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and North Carolina and expects those resources to begin arriving later this afternoon. Although major roads have been plowed and treated, side streets and narrow alleys may still be extremely hazardous and challenging to access, which could delay the restoration effort. BGE thanks its customers in advance for their patience and understanding and reminds them to stay updated on restoration efforts via Twitter and Face.
“At BGE, the safety of our customers and employees is always our top priority,” said A. Christopher Burton, senior vice president of gas and electric operations and planning for BGE. “We certainly understand the unique challenges associated with an interruption in electric service – particularly during the winter months - and want our customers to know that more than 1,000 dedicated BGE and contract employees are working 12-16 hour shifts in the field, storm center, call center and other locations across Central Maryland to ensure electric service is restored as safely and as quickly as possible.”
Customers with special needs such as those who may be elderly, handicapped or dependent on electricity for medical equipment, should have alternate arrangements in place should they experience an extended power outage. Customers using a generator or space heater should follow manufacturer instructions and be sure to locate generators in well-ventilated areas.
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.
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
* Fresh batteries
* Battery operated clock radio
* Corded telephone
* Fully charged cell phone
* Non-perishable foods
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 are always reminded to stay away from downed power lines and to report them immediately by calling 1-877-778-2222. For more information about BGE storm preparation and how customers can protect their families and property, go to www.bge.com.
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.
BGE, www.bge.com, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 640,000 natural gas customers in Central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,000 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 Constellation Energy, www.constellation.com, a FORTUNE 500 company also headquartered in Baltimore, with subsidiaries that generate, sell and provide other energy-related services to customers throughout North America.