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Thousands Still In The Dark On Independence Day

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Mike Schuh 370x278 Mike Schuh
Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been five days and tens of thousands are still in the dark. Governor Martin O’Malley warns this could be the most dangerous day in the aftermath of the storm.

Mike Schuh reports the lights are still out in parts of North Baltimore.

BGE crews have been sitting on Lake Avenue, guarding a massive tree with lines down, but work has not started here and it could be the weekend before those living there see their power back on.

Street after street, much of Maryland still looks like a war zone.

“Help. I’m going to say help!” said Edna Greer.

A massive tree over power lines stands in the way of her getting her power back. She’s terrified for her 91-year-old neighbor.

“She has her windows all bolted. She’s been living here for 45 years, afraid to leave her home,” Greer said.

With the heat not letting up, officials say this is a critical time for the elderly.

“This is when our senior citizens are most vulnerable,” O’Malley said.

Thirty-five hundred utility crews from across the country are now working to restore power here.

“Let’s face it, the emotions are running high and we know that. That’s not going to deter us. There is no Fourth of July for BGE,” Rob Gould said.

The damage across the region is worse than most hurricanes. BGE Crew Chief Doug Revie worked the past two days on Bellona Avenue.

“On this job, there were three trees. One big tree and then numerous branches,” Revie said.

At Ayd Hardware in North Baltimore, people have been lining up to get their hands on some dry ice. The store has sold out of two shipments of dry ice already as people try to save the contents of their fridge.

“Dry ice. I was at the plant 6 o’clock Saturday morning, 6 o’clock Sunday morning. And I know the plant manager well. He wasn’t even returning my calls,” said owner Vincent Ayd.

Generators, batteries and flashlights are also hot sellers as neighbors prepare for another day in the dark and patience wears thin.

BGE has received more than a million calls to its call center. They have restored power to nearly 80 percent of those who were in the dark. One thing that could make it worse: the potential for even more storms in our area Wednesday. BGE says if that happens, it could knock even more customers offline.

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