Residents prepare for BGE shut-off Dec. 28 maintenance has Admiral Heights residents concerned

December 17, 1998|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

Faye Mager is worried about what she'll do with five visiting relatives, including an elderly aunt and an infant grandson, when the heat goes off and the lights go out during a power shut-off planned by BGE for Dec. 28, the Monday after Christmas.

Twenty-six households in the Admiral Heights neighborhood of Annapolis received letters from Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. Tuesday informing them that the utility will cut off electricity for up to six hours that day for "equipment maintenance."

Mager is not sure what she will do with her relatives, not to mention the friends who might drop in for traditional holiday visits that day.

"I would hate to have to tell people, 'Well, don't stop by,' " Mager, who lives on Nimitz Drive, said yesterday. "And we have probably been malled out. I'm sure nobody is going to want to go to the mall."

Mager said she might take her aunt home to Baltimore a day earlier than planned rather than have her sit in a cold house.

"Somebody here obviously did not care about the holidays and wintertime," said her husband, Irving Mager. "It just seemed to be very insensitive."

BGE spokeswoman Nancy H. Caplan said the company does care about residents and wants to inconvenience them as little as possible.

"We're looking into the schedule, and if there is any way that we can make it easier on our customers, we are going to look into it," Caplan said.

"Our goal is to make it less of an inconvenience in the long run."

BGE crews will be replacing aging transformers in a substation with newer, more reliable equipment, Caplan said.

"We don't plan an outage unless it's really critical that it get done," she said.

"If we don't do this now, there is a far greater risk that we could have an emergency outage, and that could affect far more people."

The shut-off could be shorter than six hours, she said. BGE usually gives customers notice at least 10 business days before an outage so that residents and businesses can be prepared.

Anthony Zuccaro, who also lives on Nimitz Drive, said he won't have a house full of relatives on Dec. 28, but he is miffed about all of the digital clocks and electronic equipment in the house he will have to reset.

BGE should have found a better time to turn off the power, he said.

"It's just close to the holidays. Something like that probably would have been done better after the first of the year, when people are back to a normal schedule."

Pub Date: 12/17/98

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