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High Wind & Heavy Snow Could Cause Major Power Outages

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Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—All across Maryland utility crews are bracing for the kind of storm we haven’t seen in several years.

Derek Valcourt has more on the rush to get ready.

BGE crews and state highway crews are all at the ready, as all of Maryland braces for a winter storm the likes of which most of us haven’t seen in more than two years.

The same storm that packed a blustery wallop in parts of the Midwest–burying roads and grounding flights–now sets its sites on the mid-Atlantic.

“It’s been a couple of years since we’ve actually had to plow some snow in this region,” said Charlie Gischlar, SHA spokesman.

In anticipation of its arrival, Maryland is bracing itself.

The salt trucks are loaded. The roads are pre-treated. The crews are on standby.

In all, 2,700 state highway personnel have been activated from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore.

“Generally we don’t pre-treat when it’s going to begin as rain, but that 95 corridor and that rain/snow line is so narrow, and one degree difference and then we’re stuck. So we went ahead and pre-treated that and points west.  Points east we didn’t because it’s going to start all as rain,” Gischlar said.

BGE is loading up with all the supplies they’ll need to activate more than 1,700 crews — including more than 500 brought in from out of state. They’ll be dispatched to repair potentially hundreds of thousands of outages because of the storm’s expected heavy wet snow and strong winds.

“So we’re looking at 35-40 mph winds, and that always is problematic. We’re looking at the possibility of tree limbs drooping and the winds maybe causing tree damaging, which will basically cause damage to our infrastructure,” said Jerry Schmidt, BGE warehouse manager.

BGE asks folks to be prepared with everything you need in case you have to spend a couple of days without power.

State highway officials say if you do need to travel overnight and Wednesday, they ask that you give plow trucks plenty of room.

Customers can report power outages from mobile phones and devices through the company’s new mobile website at bge.com or by calling 877-778-2222. 

Customers can find information on preparing for natural disasters and other emergency events at bge.com.

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