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Thousands Brave Sweltering Heat As Utility Crews Work To Restore Power

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The temperature rises and the power is still out for thousands.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on how people are coping in their homes.

When you ask that question, it’s the same answer: As best as they can. Many are literally sweating it out as the wait for power continues.

“It’s been brutal,” Lena Gaither said.

Gaither is hot, frustrated and wants answers.

“They told us Tuesday, it was going to come on at 8 o’clock,” she said.

Eight o’clock came and went. Now, it’s day six and still no lights and no air conditioning. She uses a hand-held fan to keep cool in her home.

“I bought a huge pack of batteries and just keep it with me to try to make it bearable,” she said.

But not everyone is feeling the heat.

It’s a case of the have and have-nots on Dunbar Avenue. One side of the street got their power back on Tuesday. But directly across the street, the neighbors are still waiting.

The division of power is weighing heavy on frustrated BGE customers.

“When I saw them on first, I said, ‘Now, wait a minute! What’s going on here?'” homeowner Gerald Kess said.

They are waiting for restoration as crews work double time to get the job done.

Reporter: “What was your work day today?”
Utility worker: “Six a.m. to 10 p.m.”
Reporter: “What was your work schedule yesterday?”
Utility worker: “Six a.m. to 10 p.m.”

Even with all the hours and effort, customers remain vexed.

“The circuits run so far. There could be work at the end of the block that customers don’t even see us doing,” a utility worker said.

“I’ve been buying food out of these fast-food joints for the last six days– breakfast, supper, whatever. So it’s taking a toll on my pocket,” Kess said.

Gaither says as hard as crews are working, it’s just not happening fast enough.

“It’s frustrating. I don’t understand it,” she said.

And with temperatures expecting to reach more than 100 degrees this weekend, many are considering staying at a hotel.

BGE has crews from out-of-state working with them to get the power back on.

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