High wind could bring trees and tree limbs down onto power lines causing outages
Utility has proactively increased field crews in order to respond to outages as safely and as quickly as possible
BALTIMORE, Feb. 24, 2012 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced that it is closely monitoring the approaching weather system, which is forecasted to bring high wind and wind gusts through BGE’s service area as early as Friday afternoon, continuing throughout the day on Saturday. The impending weather system, anticipated to bring sustained wind speeds of up to 30 miles per hour and gusts between 40 and 50 miles per hour, with occasional gusts as high as 60 miles per hour, could very likely cause trees and tree limbs to fall onto power lines and other electric delivery equipment, causing power outages. BGE has proactively increased its field crews in order to respond to outages, should they occur, as safely and as quickly as possible.
“BGE is closely monitoring this approaching weather system and has already increased its number of field personnel in anticipation of possible power outages resulting from the forecasted high wind,” said Jeannette M. Mills, senior vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “For safety reasons, however, work involving bucket trucks could be delayed until the high wind dies down, which may extend restoration times. In addition, restoration work involving the removal of trees and tree debris can be labor and time intensive. We thank our customers in advance for their 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.
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.
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 1-800-685-0123. 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 650,000 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.