Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As Maryland gets caught in the crosshairs of Sandy, more than 210,000 BGE customers have lost power. Over 50,000 of them were restored. Anne Arundel has the most outages with over 57,000 customers in the dark, Baltimore City has 19,050 and Baltimore County has almost 54,000 people without power.
Rochelle Ritchie reports.
About 2,000 out-of-state utility workers are at the staging area at BWI Airport, as they prepare to help out BGE crews should the power go out to the expected hundreds of thousands of Marylanders.
BGE is geared up with equipment and utility workers to restore power to customers when Hurricane Sandy knocks out power.
The utility said its crews are on standby throughout our region ready to get the electricity back on. In addition to the 2,000 out-of-state utility workers, more than 2,000 contractors, tree personnel and support staff from Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas are also ready to help with restoration efforts.
Utility workers were briefed early Monday morning. Two thousand of them are from out of state and are chipping in to help keep the lights on.
“We’re going to help these people out to help keep the lights on, get the lights on as soon as possible. Do the best, safe job we could do,” one out-of-state utility worker said.
“Pretty much waiting for whatever’s going to come. I mean, this is what we’ve done. I’ve done it for 13 years. They’re expecting the worst. we hope not but we’re ready for it,” said another utility worker.
Unfortunately, as the storm approaches and the winds pick up, crews will not be able to restore power as quickly.
“You will see our crews out on the street. There are times during this hurricane when it will make it difficult or they’re unable to do restoration work,” BGE spokesperson Rachel Lighty said. “For example, if there are winds sustained for more than 25 miles per hour or higher, we can’t use our bucket trucks.”
“Dangerous conditions may drive crews to seek safety in company vehicles in and around local communities. Rather than return to staging areas and wait for the storm to pass, this tactic positions utility workers to be closer to actual restoration locations. Repairs will continue once it is safe to do so,” said Jeannette M. Mills, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE.
BGE spent $1 million to increase its storm inventory in preparation of this monster storm.
Customers can report outages and downed wires by calling 877-778-2222.