BGE advises that hazardous road conditions could delay restoration efforts
Customers dependent upon electricity for medical needs or customers with special needs should make alternative plans now in advance of possible power outages
BALTIMORE, Jan. 25, 2011 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), today announced it is monitoring the weather and preparing for possible electric service interruptions caused by forecasted freezing rain beginning late Tuesday evening and ending early Thursday with as much as 4-8” of heavy wet snow spread across its central Maryland service territory. This wintry mix has the potential to coat trees as well as power lines and other electric delivery equipment with heavy, wet snow and ice. These conditions, combined with wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour, could bring down power lines and cause power outages. Some outages may be extended as hazardous road conditions could delay crew arrival times.
“In anticipation of the storm’s arrival, BGE has proactively increased the number of field personnel scheduled to work throughout the remainder of the week and has the ability to call in additional resources should conditions warrant,” said A. Christopher Burton, senior vice president of gas and electric operations and planning for BGE. “In addition, hundreds of other BGE field and office personnel have been placed on stand-by should they be needed during the restoration effort. The vast majority of BGE employees have storm assignments and are prepared to quickly transition into those roles if need be.”
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
Battery operated clock radio
Fully charged cell phone
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 or space heater should follow manufacturer instructions and be sure to locate generators in well-ventilated areas.
Additionally, 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. 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.
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.