Reporting Mike Schuh
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Day four and the lights are still out for tens of thousands. The heat turned deadly as cleanup continues around the region from this monstrous storm.
Mike Schuh has the latest on the outages.
Seven people in Maryland have now died in this storm, including four heat-related deaths. Eight hundred more power crews arrived from across North America Monday to try to get the power back on.
Magellan Westbrook’s car is underneath a massive tree. He was driving on Rogers Avenue when it landed on top of him.
“The tree surrounding all four of my doors, crashed through my back window and I couldn’t get out,” he said.
Emergency crews had to pry him out.
Now power crews are trying to disentangle his car from the tree and get the lights back on in hot homes.
High heat combined with no AC has taken a deadly turn in Maryland.
“I’ve never seen a storm that hit this suddenly with this sort of impact,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.
Two heat-related deaths have now been reported in Baltimore City.
“We don’t want one preventable heat-related death in Baltimore,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Now she’s fighting to get more utility crews in the city. Those crews are working 24 hours a day. BGE warns just because you don’t see a crew doesn’t mean they’re not working to restore power in your neighborhood.
“They may be a mile away or a mile and a half away at the equipment that needs to be repaired or at the tree that’s on top of the line,” said Rob Gould, BGE.
Twelve hundred workers are coming from as far away as Canada to help. Each crew is working 15 to 16 hour days.
“By the time we finish up, we usually close a fuse in, put a transformer and people are real, real happy,” said Ernie Brzozowski.
As for Westbrook, he’s happy for a whole other reason.
“I can’t believe how massive this tree is and I was still able to walk away–no scratches, no injuries at all,” he said.
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. They say they received more than 760,000 calls after the storm. They’ve restored power to two-thirds of those customers.
The total number of BGE customers without power now stands at 165,916– 57,586 in Baltimore County, 47,520 in Baltimore City and 31,503 in Anne Arundel County. To see the current outages across the state, click here.
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 Tuesday. 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.
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.
The city has also opened shelters for those without electricity. Each shelter has 75 beds. The shelters are located at the Baltimore Junior Academy at 3006 West Coldspring Lane and at the Dawson Family Safe Haven Center at 1400 East Federal Street.