Utilities work to restore power to 400 customers

Western Howard, Carroll hit hard by wind, rain

July 30, 1999|By Zanto Peabody and Mike Farabaugh | Zanto Peabody and Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

About 400 electric customers in Howard and Carroll counties were expected to have their service restored today after spending the past two nights without power.

About 130 Allegheny Power customers scattered throughout far western Howard County were without power yesterday evening, as the utility repaired lines downed in Wednesday's storms.

Damage from gusts up to 70 mph left an estimated 1,800 Howard households without electricity from about 4 p.m. Wednesday until about 1: 30 p.m. yesterday, according to Allegheny spokesman Todd Meyers.

"This was not your garden variety outage from a lightning strike," Meyers said. "This was one where we had several utility poles knocked down that we had to set back up."

The utility estimated that the afternoon storms knocked out power to 15,000 customers from west of Frederick to Woodbine.

Yesterday afternoon, the Howard County Department of Transportation barricaded sections of Long Corner, Morgan Station, St. Michaels and Florence roads, where wires and downed utility poles presented potential danger.

Katherine Willson, who owns a thoroughbred horse ranch in Woodbine, said she spent nearly $200 on lamps, and jugs of water for her 20 horses, which usually drink from electric-powered wells and are cooled by electric fans.

In Carroll County, a dozen Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. crews were dispatched to the Westminster area to repair or replace 14 transformers, said Rose Muhlhausen, a BGE spokeswoman.

By midday, 258 BGE customers were without power, but some of those could include new calls for service, Muhlhausen said.

"Crews are reporting that lightning strikes, fallen tree branches and squirrels have knocked out the transformers," she said.

BGE hoped to have all service restored by late afternoon yesterday, Muhlhausen said.

The outages were not concentrated and affected only small pockets of residential and commercial customers, she said.

In addition, utility crews had to replace protective fuses atop five poles and trim numerous trees with broken tree branches that had knocked down, or threatened to knock down, electrical wires, she said.

Pub Date: 7/30/99

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