Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The temperature could near 100 degrees again. When the heat gets this bad, not having electricity is not just frustrating, it’s dangerous.
Derek Valcourt reports BGE is blaming the heat for knocking out power to thousands of customers.
In some neighborhoods along Pulaski Highway in West Baltimore, no electricity means no fans, no air conditioning, no way to keep cool in the sweltering heat.
“This whole block on both sides and the block over there and the block over there, we have no power,” said Richard Westcott.
“I’m just keeping my kids as cool as we can,” said Shaunta Westcott. “Water, under the tree, doing the best we can.”
“I’m sweating real bad, and I got a baby. She can’t be around no kind of heat,” said Maurice Minter.
How hot is it in those homes?
“I have a digital thermostat in there,” said Richard Westcott. “Right now that’s reading 87.”
“All you can do is hope and pray it comes back on,” said Henrietta Payne.
“It’s hot. It’s the hottest days of the year. We want to know what BGE are going to do for the neighborhood?” said Waymon Lefall.
BGE says the extreme heat has been taxing to their system, causing outages affecting thousands of homes and businesses over the last few days.
The outages on Pulaski– caused by underground power lines– are the most difficult and time-consuming problems to fix.
“Our crews have to take breaks,” said Linda Foy, BGE spokesperson. “They have to stay hydrated so that they can continue to respond. We are working to get everybody back as quickly and as safely as possible.”
“They doing the best they can, but they need to speed it up a bit more because it is like grueling hot,” said Cynthia Carter.
But even as BGE crews work to resolve those problems, neighbors are still out on the streets trying to fathom another hot night without power to keep cool.
“I’m struggling,” said Paulette Jones. “I’m fighting. We had to sleep through this all last night. I had to get up, keep on taking showers, cold showers, and still it’s hot.”
“It took me a long time to get to sleep,” Carter said. “I had to fan myself to sleep. The less you slept with the better.”
BGE has already restored power to some 12,000 people. But more than 1,000–most of them in the city–are still without power.