Power outage yesterday morning in Ellicott City affects 911 service

April 29, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Howard County police activated a backup 911 communications center in Ellicott City yesterday morning after a power outage and problems with an emergency generator shut down the main facility.

Trouble with an underground cable at Courthouse Drive and Ellicott Mills Drive caused the outage at 7:06 a.m., said Sharon Sasada, a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman. By 8:30 a.m., crews had restored service to all 1,154 residential and commercial customers who had lost power, she said.

The Howard County government complex and businesses on Main Street in historic Ellicott City also were affected.

Power at the main communications center, in the government complex, was out for about 25 minutes, said Sherry Llewellyn, a police spokeswoman. The emergency generator started, but failed to power the main 911 facility.

"As soon as power went out, we took steps as planned to initiate activity at our backup facility" in Scaggsville, she said.

Power was restored to the main communications center before calls came in to Scaggsville.

"Only a handful of calls came into the center during the time the power was out," Llewellyn said. "We have not received any reports so far" that any emergencies occurred during that time.

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