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Snowstorm Shuts Off Power For Many Marylanders

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Power, BGE
Alex DeMetrick 370x278 Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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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.

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