Thousands of Marylanders are still without power following last weekend’s blizzard, and officials say more outages could occur during the snowstorm expected to move into the region today.
Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. reported more than 98,000 power outages among its customers since Friday’s snowfall–most in Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties. As of Tuesday afternoon, 97,982 had been restored, leaving a little over 500 without power.
BGE has more than 1.26 million customers in Maryland.
Pepco fielded calls on about 108,000 power outages at the height of the storm, said Bob Hainey, Pepco manager of media relations. More than 80,000 of them were in the Montgomery County area.
“Montgomery County has a lot of trees,” Hainey said, “and once snow hits the trees, the power lines are next.”
Pepco restored more than 70,000 homes in Montgomery County. But as of Tuesday afternoon, there were 9,190 Montgomery County Pepco customers still without power, 255 in Prince George’s County and 193 in Washington, D.C., Hainey said.
Spokesmen for both companies said their crews are working around the clock to restore power.
BGE has “linemen from Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio assisting us,” said BGE spokeswoman Linda Foy.
More power outages are expected today and tomorrow, officials said, when another 10 to 20 inches of snow are expected to fall in the region, topping the two or more feet that fell last weekend.
Hainey said those with existing power outages will be first priority and will not fall to the bottom of the queue.
If power goes out in your home, Foy urged using flashlights rather than candles, which are a safety hazard.
BGE also asks customers to clear vent pipes and outside meters, to prevent them from malfunctioning.
Hainey urged customers to be mindful of carbon monoxide, which can come from using charcoal grills too close to the house or operating portable generators improperly. Carbon monoxide can go undetected in a home because it’s without a smell.
“We tell people don’t do anything to project carbon monoxide, because it can kill you,” Hainey said.
–By Maryland Newsline’s Zettler Clay