Reporting Mike Schuh
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—BGE reports that all of their out-of-state crews are now in place.
Mike Schuh spent the morning at one of two massive staging centers.
More than a third of the people who are helping to restore power to Marylanders are not from Maryland.
Maryland has been invaded.
Modeled on military planning, massive amounts of equipment are rolling out of the staging area near BWI-Marshall.
They’re here to restore power to the 20 percent of Marylanders still left in the dark after last Friday’s massive storm.
BGE says power has been restored to 80 percent of residents who experienced outages.
BGE spokesman Rob Gould spoke to WJZ:
“Because we team them up with BGE crew guys, we make sure they have everything they need before they go out on site,” said Rachael Lightly.
That includes laundry and a mess hall.
Since Monday, the number of out-of-state crews working on the restoration effort has doubled since Monday from 1,000 to 2,000. A thousand crews are here; its duplicate is out in Middle River.
“Today is one of our biggest days where we have every single crew in place,” Lightly said.
BGE uses no larger distribution cable than 32,000 volts.
Eleven snapped poles are being tackled by an 11-man work crew.
“I don’t know what they call it here. Back home we call it overhead twisted cable. It’s on the ground,” said Dave Pratt, out-of-state lineman.
Pratt’s not from ’round here. He’s from Attleboro, Mass. He’s 68 years old and retired once. He looks forward to these massive restoration jobs.
“It’s in our blood. We’re brought up through the apprentice program, and this is work we love to do. When someone needs help, we’re eager to help,” Pratt said.
His crew is a part of one of those giant staging centers.
“But I don’t come down to chase the money. We come down because we feel we have an obligation to our profession. No one else can do it so when you need the help we gotta come out and do it,” Pratt said.
BGE couldn’t say how many customers will be restored when this goliath is back up.
Captain Jeff Long takes a look at a heavily damaged area in Parkville.
To our orange collar guests, we say welcome to summer in Maryland.
“It’s hot for us, but we’re used to it. We work outdoors 365 days a year. I’ll take the heat over the cold any day,” Pratt said.
The linemen say they have no idea when they’ll be returning home. That will happen after the job is done.
Some of those crews came from as far away as Canada, Mississippi and Florida.