1,000 in Dorsey's Search lose electricity

September 05, 1996|By Erica C. Harrington | Erica C. Harrington,SUN STAFF

A contractor working for a local cable company caused a power outage that affected more than 1,000 people yesterday morning in Columbia's Dorsey's Search village.

Communications Construction Group of Cockeysville was laying fiber-optic lines for Comcast Cablevision along Columbia Road between Old Annapolis Road and Dorsey Hall Drive and hit a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. cable at 9: 24 a.m. yesterday, said Rose Muhlhausen, a BGE spokeswoman.

BGE had to shut off power until the cable could be repaired.

Mitchell Schmale, a Comcast spokesman, said the company had done work for the cable provider in Howard County. He said the contractor followed all safety procedures.

"Things like that happen once in a while," he said. "It's hard to avoid with so many wires underground."

Power was restored to 1,047 BGE customers at 10: 59 a.m., but not before causing some minor inconveniences to local businesses in Dorsey's Search Village Center and Crossroads Professional Center.

Power went on and off in 10-minute spurts at Neighborcare Pharmacy in Crossroads Professional Center, delaying some customers' prescriptions, said pharmacy technician Jackie Thomas. She said the pharmacy lost computer and telephone service.

"There's always inconvenience when customers are waiting," she said. "It puts us back, and we have to catch up on lost time."

John Greskovich, an optician at Dorsey's Search Optical, said patients were not scheduled during the blackout, but that it could have hurt financially if it had extended into the afternoon.

"If the power is out for a long time, we have to cancel appointments," Greskovich said. "If you miss a couple of patients, it will have a big impact."

Muhlhausen said repairing damaged electric cables usually costs about $750, though repair charges have not yet been assessed in yesterday's outage.

Pub Date: 9/05/96

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