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Clearing Trees Proves To Be Major Hindrance In Power Restoration

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Schuh Mike 370x278 (2) Mike Schuh
Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Tens of thousands are still without power, but progress is being made at getting more people online. Crews are still trying to clear the hundreds of trees that fell during last Friday night’s wind storm.

Mike Schuh has more on a huge restoration effort.

Carroll Karwacki used to be one in a million. Now he’s one in about 100,000.

“Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday… five days,” Karwacki said.

He says it’s out of his control.

Near the city line, on his porch to keep cool, he may not even have to read the newspaper. He’s part of it.

“Down the street and back across the street from that unit and back, you can see down the street the poles have been sheared,” he said.

If you look at BGE’s map, Karwacki is dead center near that orange and red dead spot along Northern Parkway.

So with one-third of the work force coming from out-of-state, Karwacki’s restoration crew comes from BGE.

“There’s severe tree damage in this area. There’s no tap left undamaged,” said Tim Close, BGE crew leader.

Here’s what that means.

Anyone frustrated by the pace of progress needs to look at an alley we found in North Baltimore. There’s a pole snapped in half and there’s another one 25 feet  away, and another 25 feet  in the opposite direction. The snapped poles continue for two blocks.

“I have 10 sections of wire down and multiple equipment damage and multiple service loops. We have at least 25 trees down in just this tap alone in a two or three block area,” Close said.

With that many trees, work really begins to move once the tree cutters come through.

By nightfall, Karwacki should be one of those whose power was restored on this hot Fourth of July day.

There are 1,300 out-of-town crews, and BGE keeps shuffling more people in locally, so there is a total of 4,000 people who are working to restore power.

Those out-of-town crews will be in town until this weekend when the majority of the work is expected to be complete.

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