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Snowstorm Shuts Off Power For Many Marylanders

BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — Plenty of people are still without power the day after a wintry mix blasted through Maryland.

Alex DeMetrick is following the efforts to turn the lights back on.

BGE positioned crews in advance of the storm, but getting to outages was difficult from the start.

Downed trees are the greatest obstacle. A massive tree fell across Gwynns Falls in Baltimore, uprooting part of the sidewalk and breaking a water line.

“I looked out the window and I saw the tree leaning. I went back in my room, looked again and it was on the ground,” said Marcus Hill, resident.

Branches that knocked out power first have to be cleared before BGE repair crews can begin the job of restoring electricity.

“It depends on the situation,” said Kevin Deremick, BGE repair crew. “The situation with this, we had to cut the tree clear of our equipment, and then the State Highway will cut it off the road.”

It’s work that will take time because of the high number of outages.

“I have a radio [with batteries,] so I can at least keep in touch with the outside world, see what’s going on,” said Angela Mays, Gwynns Falls resident. “But it’s cold.”

And with such heavy snow, more power is being lost.

“We’re seeing outages occur throughout the day. We’ll have customers, I’m sure, that will come home today from work and will have outages,” said BGE spokesman Rob Gould.

At the BGE storm center, calls are still coming in, and 1,800 linemen are being staged and coordinated.  No storm has made this much work.

“This storm in particular is about 40 percent more damaging than the two blizzards we had back to back in February of last year combined,” Gould said.

BGE has 1,800 workers in the field and crews from other states began arriving late Thursday afternoon.

BGE has about 1.2 million residential customers, and nearly 200,000 — about 15 percent — lost power at some point during the storm Wednesday night. As of 6 p.m. Thursday, more than 47,000 remained without power.

Gould says only 142,000 customers lost power during the back-to-back blizzards of February 2010 that dumped nearly 2 feet of snow apiece.

Gould says the vast majority of customers still in the dark should have their power restored by late Saturday, but some outages will extend into Sunday.

Click here for the full list of outages.

More from Alex DeMetrick
  • Mike

    yepper we are one of the many in Belcamp,MD. Tell them keep up the good work and get us some heat thanks mike

    • Greg

      Nice and toasty here in Burtonsville

      • moleman

        Gregg, your day is coming hot shot snot. BGE needs to rework their grids. We lose power if someone farts in Balto. county. Bet if a councilman & county exec lived in our condo complex this wouldn’t happen.

  • ed

    BGE needs to give rebates/vouchers back to the people who were without power for more than 2 hours. I pay for a service, and if that service is not satisfactory, for whatever reason, i need to be compensated.

    • Leigh Ann Erdman

      Ed, you need a life. These people are putting in massive amounts of hours to restore power. They have to get to outages in impossible conditions, including dangerous driving on ice.. If you noted today, the average commute last night took well over 8 hours to go less than 10 miles because of the conditions. How do you think BGE is going to get there…fly? Next bad storm I suggest you take your vehicle and go to the nearest woods and try to get through all the tree limbs and trees that have fallen and then you will get an idea of the conditions. My power was out for 18 hours and yes I was cold, has to run my small generator to make coffee and a space heater and spent all night checking on my horses to make sure their water didn’t freeze. Yes, I was grumpy and angry, but it is not BGE’s fault. They are doing their job superbly.

    • BC

      What would the rebate be for? You don’t get charged for the electricity you don’t use. I guess you didn’t realize that.



    • GL

      I’m guessing you (MOLLY) have power. I am with Ed, I have to throw out all the food in my fridge. It is coming up on 24 hours since I have had power. Ridiculous.

  • Steve W.

    Power has been out now for 20 hours since 20:45 YESTERDAY!! 11 year old community in Marriottsville of Carroll County. All wires are underground!! Time for a whole house generator.

  • bgelineman

    High Voltage lines are not like the wires in your house. It can take hours to repair one line and even days for some. Some areas are hard to get to and have to be repaired with no bucket truck. Workers are working 14-16 hrs straight without break and work with voltages that can burn or kill so you cannot rush a repair.

    I know it is frustrating that people do not have power even right now, but I didn’t either and had to work 15 hrs straight to put people’s lights on while my family is sitting in the dark and in the cold. Last year with 2 plus feet, I worked 16 hr days and stayed in a hotel for 4 straight days and did not see my family at all. My story is not any different than every field employee working for BGE.

    As for the comment of BGE’s grid, unless you work for them , you have no idea what it takes for power to be produced at a power plant and delivered to your home. You pay for what you use. Go out in the midwest when they get a storm and it takes weeks to get a few homes back with electric service.

    Don’t down BGE and the workers, they sacrifice more than you imagine and risk their lives daily to keep your power on and try to restore your power as quick and safely as possible without being layed out at Bayview with burns or surgeries to repair limbs being blown off from electric contact or families burying their husbands and Dad’s .

    All I ask is please show paitence and appreciation for what we do and what we give up and our families suffer the same as all of you. All of us are doing the best we can with the terrible conditions and as safe as we can so we can leave safe and alive.

    • Cheryl Sherpinski

      I live in Fort Wayne, IN we had an ice storm in the winter 08/09 and 2 days was the MINIMUM that some people were without power. Some people were without power for over a week~ we’re talking about a city( one of the 5 biggest in the state). AEP had to call in workers from OTHER STATES!!!!
      So quit complaining ~ I can see why your ancesstors didn’t brave the trail to settle points west of the Mississippi, buck up and deal with it.
      “I have to throw away the food in my fridge”; what it wasn’t cold enough to put it outside??

  • Johnson

    Who wrote this article. Costomers? Um, spellcheck?

  • HA?

    Who cares about spell check, this guy and many others are working HARD. Spell Check for real are you serious? I think Mr. BGE did great writing his artical, I understood what he was saying with out any issues. Johnson if you didnt understand maybe you need a understandcheck on your puter.

    People fail to realize if everyone was as smart and perfect as Johnson who would clean your streets, build your buildings, pick up your trash. No one in my house is a spelling B champ and we build your houses, clean your houses, install your oil heaters, shovel your snow and you pay us for it. lol thanks

  • Militarywifey

    I’m sorry BGELineman, but when you have no heat, no electric and trying to keep a baby warm and feed them, it taking 2 days to get the power back is asinine. I lived in the Midwest, and I never went more than 4 hours without power! If you guys are that bogged down, help the economy and hire more people. It doesn’t help that they are the only power company around and can’t efficiently care for their consumers. Maybe if there was another power company, all the burden would not be on BGE. Just my 2 cents.

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  • Jean

    I applaud all the BGE linemen and all the workers out there working to help the public.
    Thank you Mr BGElineman for writing, but as usual, we have ignorant ppl in our society. They can no comprehend what it takes to do your job.
    How would Militarywifey feel if we were to say her military husband wasnt fighting hard enough for our country?? I wouldnt go there though…I have family in the Military..trying to make a point…we do not know what it is like unless we have walked in the others shoes!
    We were ALL warned about this storm….if society would come together, help one another, learn to pay it forward….we would all be much happier. Now go to a family member, or a friend if you have no heat or electric. Dont blame the BGE….they are working the best that they can. Have a wonderful night!

  • Militarywifey

    I did not say that they weren’t working hard, what I am saying is that it is quite funny that being in the midwest, I never went without power for more than 4 hours, and they are used to getting tons of snow dumped on them, and they are able to get the job done so people are not freezing. E

    veryone here on base gets their power back at least 18 hours before my neighborhood. If it rains, we lose power, if the wind blows, we lose power, if it snows we lose power, if it gets too hot, we have brown outs and this happens for at least 8 hours everytime.

    As for going to family or friends, when you are new to the area, you don’t know many people and having family halfway across the country, you can’t go there to stay warm.

    My problem is, if these guys are working 16+ hour days, then it is time that they help the economy out and hire more people so the work can be done efficiently.

    • Cheryl Sherpinski

      Yeah and your a LIAR, 08/09 we were without power for 2-16 days; if the midwest is so great MOVE BACK THERE!!!!!

      • Militarywifey

        In Ohio we never had been without power like this. That’s just my experience.

  • ernie

    @ GL. . . Why would you have to throw your food out? It’s plenty cold outside or in the garage. I put my food in a cooler and put it on the porch. Still plenty cold.

  • bgelineman

    I have to deal with the same conditions as everyone. I have 2 kids, one is very young as well. My power was out for 4 days last year, a week during Hurricane isabel and is out right now. The hardest thing I do is leave my home with no power and go to work and restore power to others while my family is in the dark.

    Worst part of job is I restore power to one area and get cussed out when I go to the next. High voltage repairs take a lot of time and a lot of people do not understand that at all.

    Look, I’m not here to justify anything in regards to my company and power outages. I do not like getting beat up, and BGE getting beat up by people who have no idea what has to be done, even to restore 1 customer.

    I have a heart, a big one, but people out there do not show theirs to the people who risk their lives daily to provide and restore energy to your home.

    I can tell you all first hand, the damage from the wet snow and the trees down are a lot more than last year when we got 2 ft+ of snow.

    Please be patient and respectful, we are all working very long hours, around the clock to get everyone’s power restored. If you see one of my co-workers out there, shake his/her hand and thank them for their effort.

  • KottaMan

    It’s just more global warming, that is all ……….

  • barnyard

    Hey bgelineman, there’s people out there by the millions that don’t earn per hr what BGE pays it’s linemen. $18-36 per hr plus bennies. Shut your pie hole

  • bgelineman

    Put in for a lineman job then. They have job postings and have been hiring for the past 5yrs. If you are upset, then apply yourself and put in for a job over here.

    Put the rubber gloves and sleeves and hooks on and come climb some poles. Live line 13,000v and work 16 hrs straight during storms.

    Man up.

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