Utility remains on track to restore service to vast majority of affected customers by late this evening with some isolated and scattered outages that may extend into Monday
Damage to electric system far more significant than damage sustained during last month’s snow storm
Utility monitoring approaching weather system, which could result in new outages tomorrow
BALTIMORE, Feb. 27, 2011 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced that it has restored electric service to more than 93,000 customers since Friday afternoon’s windstorm and expects service to the vast majority of remaining customers to be restored by late this evening with some isolated and scattered outages possibly extending into Monday. Approximately 1,300 BGE, contract and out-of-state personnel have been working aroud-the-clock to restore service as safely and as quickly as possible. This number includes more than 300 linemen and support staff from New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvani and Virginia. BGE is also monitoring an approaching weather system which could affect its Central Marylad service area tomorrow. Customers are reminded to stay informed on restoration efforts via www.bge.com, Twitter, Face and Flickr.
“BGE’s electric system, including its wires and poles, sustained severe and widespread damage during the windstorm – damage that far exceeds the impact of last month’s snow storm,” said A. Christopher Burton, senior vice president of gas and electric operations and planning for BGE. “While crews have been working 12 to 16 hour shifts to restore electric service, much of the work is very labor and time intensive. Additionally, as we get closer to complete restoration, many of the field assignments may take hours to complete but may only restore a handful of customers, compared to earlier assignments which may have taken as long to complete but restored hundreds or even thousands of customers at once. Again, we thank our customers for their patience and understanding.”
Customers with special needs, such as those who may be elderly, handicapped or dependent on electricity for medical equipment are reminded to 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.
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.
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 1-410-685-0123. Power outages should be reported by calling BGE’s automated system at 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.