Service already restored to nearly 160,000 Customers – More Than 75 Percent of All Affected Customers
Customers advised to avoid downed wires and report them immediately at 1-877-778-2222
BALTIMORE, Jan. 27, 2011 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), today announced that electric service to the vast majority of remaining customers affected by this week’s snow storm should be restored by late Saturday with some scattered outages extending into Sunday. The utility has already restored electric service to nearly 160,000 customers – more than 75 percent of all affected customers.
Wednesday’s heavy wet snow caused trees and large tree limbs to fall onto power lines and other electric delivery equipment, causing more outages than the back-to-back blizzards of 2010. BGE thanks its customers for their continued patience and understanding and reminds them to stay informed on restoration efforts via Twitter, Face and Flickr.
“More than 1,800 BGE, contract and out-of-state personnel, both in the field as well as our storm center, call center and other locations, are actively engaged in storm restoration activity, and are committed to restoring electric service to our customers as safely and quickly as possible,” said A. Christopher Burton, senior vice president of gas and electric operations and planning for BGE. “This number includes more than 700 out-of-state utility personnel from Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana. Although crews have been working around-the-clock under very challenging conditions, we are confident that most customers currently without power will be restored by Saturday evening. However, there may be some scattered outages extending into Sunday as many of the smaller outages are very time consuming and may only result in the restoration of a handful of customers at a time. We thank our customers for their continued patience and understanding.”
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. If you are experiencing a power outage and have not reported it, please report your outage by calling BGE’s automated response 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.