Thousands Of Md. Residents Brave Blazing Heat As Power Outages Continue
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Friday night’s storms killed two unsuspecting Marylanders. In Silver Spring, a 71-year-old woman was killed when an oak tree slammed into her bedroom. In Southern Anne Arundel County, a man died when a tree crashed through the car he was driving.
Golf fans were allowed back at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda on Sunday. On Saturday, spectators were banned and the game delayed because of debris across the course.
The storms have left Maryland a mess. The clock is ticking on restoration efforts as the summer sizzles.
Derek Valcourt has more on the hundreds of thousands still without power.
Crews are still cleaning up downed trees and other debris from the storm which packed a hurricane punch without any of the warning that hurricanes normally come with.
With no electricity…
“We had to sleep in the basement last night just to keep cool,” Thai Faison said.
Many across Maryland are running out of patience.
“They should have been here by now,” Aaron Cooper said of the utility crews.
“They tell you two-three days and I don’t see no trucks working to repair anything,” Everette Wade said.
Power crews have worked long hours ever since Friday night’s powerhouse of a storm that toppled thousands of trees, crushed cars and homes and left nearly a million Marylanders in the dark with no air conditioning in the strongest heat snap of the year so far.
“And that’s really our big danger over the next few days is especially vulnerable populations and senior citizens,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said.
Hundreds of out-of-state workers are being brought in to join Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) crews in restoration efforts.
In some cases, the power company can’t even begin to make repairs yet because massive trees are in their way, on top of the downed power lines. In fact, in many parts of Maryland, the roads are still blocked.
BGE’s Storm Center is bustling with activity. They say they’ve already restored power to more than half their customers but some may be waiting a while.
“There is no question that this restoration effort is going to extend into this coming weekend. Beyond that, we are being very careful not to set any false expectations,” Rob Gould, spokesperson for BGE, said. “So again, if you’ve lost power, call in that outage. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.”
BGE also urges residents to call them to report downed wires but not to handle them themselves. The number to call to report outages and downed power lines is 877-778-2222.
The total number of BGE customers without power now stands at 255,330– 72,526 in Baltimore County, 69,987 in Baltimore City and 49,416 in Anne Arundel County. To see the current outages across the state, click here.
Free ice brought long lines of city residents, many still shocked by the power of the storm.
“You can’t question it. It’s Mother Nature doing what she does. So you just have to grin and bear it and make the best of it,” Kathalene Greene-Carson said.
Several schools across the region will also be closed. For a complete list, click here.
Cooling centers in Baltimore City will be open at least until July 3. Baltimore County had also opened some cooling centers for its residents without power. For more information on their locations, hours and contact information, click here or call 311.
“We need people to check on their elderly neighbors. We need to make sure that we’re the neighbors we want to have,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Residents are encouraged to be careful when purchasing food. Health inspectors have closed more than two dozen facilities that have been open and selling food even though they don’t have electricity. If you know of a place doing this, please call 311. Places without electricity and hot water have a higher risk of food-borne illness.
Baltimore solid waste drop-off centers are open until 3 p.m. for storm debris. Residents can also call 311 to request pick-up service.