More than 3,500 customers lost power in Clarksville, Glenelg and other parts of western Howard County yesterday because of a technical problem at a substation in that area, according to a spokeswoman for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.
The electricity went out at 1:40 p.m. and was restored within two hours, said Sharon Sasada, the spokeswoman.
Schools completed their days, and most businesses continued operating.
"It was a pain, but it went pretty well," said Matt Bormel, an employee at the Bagel Bin restaurant in the River Hill Village Center in Columbia.
The store remained open, he said, but "we just couldn't toast bagels."
Lauren Gaasch of Glenelg was leaving the post office in River Hill when the stoplight at Route 108 went dark.
She went to the shops and said they were all without power. "People were just kind of wandering out, looking around."
Gaasch said that losing power can be particularly inconvenient for residents west of the county's public water lines because electric pumps are used to run the wells providing their water.
"It seems to me in the past two to three weeks, we have had multiple power outages," Gaasch said. Some have lasted a few hours, and some have just been "blips" that interfered with computers and clocks.
"The thunderstorms and the rain have been a little hard on the system," Sasada said. "We're prepared and working at it day by day."
Another 3,000 customers, mostly in Baltimore, lost electricity yesterday afternoon because of wind and rain knocking tree branches onto power lines.