BGE restores all power lost from ice, wind

January 20, 1999|By Rafael Alvarez | Rafael Alvarez,SUN STAFF

Five days after ice and wind storms knocked out electricity to some 350,000 Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customers in the metropolitan area, power was completely restored by 3: 30 p.m. yesterday.

The widespread problem -- concentrated most heavily in Howard and Carroll counties -- demanded the efforts of more than 800 BGE field employees, who worked around the clock in 18-hour shifts.

What few outages remained last night were not related to the storms, said BGE spokeswoman Nancy Kaplan.

"Howard County was the last district we were working on -- not that it was hit harder, but there's a lot of trees, and some of the areas are harder to get to," said Kaplan. "We bid farewell today to the four utilities from out of state who came to help us."

Those utilities, Kaplan said, are in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The crews were housed at local hotels.

"This is the biggest effort we've had in years -- a really massive effort," the spokeswoman said. "It's the first time in 18 years that we've called in crews from other states, and the first time since 1958 that we had to call for assistance because of an ice storm."

There were no injuries.

On Monday -- as BGE was closing in on the last 6,300 households without power because of the ice -- winds gusting to 70 mph, lashing rains and lightning hit the Baltimore area, knocking out an additional 33,000 customers.

"Customers called in a lot of the situations we dealt with," said Kaplan. "We used crews to replace poles and restring wires and fix a lot of other problems."

As of 7 p.m. yesterday, Potomac Electric Power Co. had restored power to all but 3,500 customers in Montgomery County after Monday's high winds and heavy rains.

Pub Date: 1/20/99

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