Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One month after the unprecedented derecho storm that left hundreds of thousands without power. BGE released their formal report to state regulators on how they handled the situation. Derek Valcourt has more on its contents.
Essentially, this report says that considering the circumstances, BGE did the best it could, but that’s little consolation to customer who spent a week or more without power.
The devastating storm struck Maryland with a vengeance. When it was all over, parts of Maryland looked like a war zone, leaving 760,000 BGE customers without power. Many of them grew frustrated, waiting days and in the sweltering heat as the overwhelmed utility company went to work.
“They should have been here by now,” said one customer.
“They tell you two or three days and I don’t see no trucks working to repair anything,” said another.
Though all of BGE’s crews went to work right away, this just-released report from the company to Maryland’s Public Service Commission indicates BGE struggled to bring in help from out-of-state utility workers, in part because, as radar shows, the storm struck quickly with little warning.
“Had we had the advance notice, the ability to bed down, say, 1,000 out of state utility workers before the storm hit, one could presume that we could have restored power even quicker,” said Rob Gould.
It took days for the necessary out-of-state crews to arrive but BGE’s president told WJZ restoration efforts picked up dramatically once they had the support they needed.
“Given the magnitude of the problem, this performance is actually better than what we did in Hurricane Irene,” said Ken DeFontes.
BGE says customers expecting their power restored very quickly after a massive storm like this aren’t being very realistic but says this derecho taught them a lesson.
“Storm over storm, you always learn what you can do better,” Gould said.
Maryland’s Public Service Commission now reviews this report and will hold several public hearings on BGE’s performance throughout the month of August.