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Hundreds of Thousands Without Power Following Friday Storm

BGE says recovery could take days.

(Updated: 9:38 a.m.)—Bill Bickel was getting his family ready for the sun, wind and water at the beaches of North Carolina.

Instead, the wind and water came to him before the family could leave their Bellona Avenue home Saturday morning. A tree branch fell from their yard, ripping apart a power pole and yanking the power line from their home.

"I think there was a little bit of an explosion" shortly after midnight, Bickel said. "I was thankful it didn't hit the house, to be honest with you."

Bickel was out on his driveway surveying the damage with his 2-1/2 year old son Zachary, who was dressed and ready for a vacation.

"As you can see, with the kids in their beach shorts, they're ready to go," he said.

Bickel called 911 last night—couldn't get through—and called Baltimore Gas and Electric—no response yet. And he's not the only one waiting.

Road and electric crews are trying to recover from Friday night's powerful thunderstorms in the Baltimore area, an effort that could take days.

According to Baltimore Gas and Electric, over 500,000 customers lost power during the storm, and as of 8:15 a.m., more than 421,000 were still without power. Over 100,000 outages were reported in Baltimore County.

For comparison, 750,000 BGE customers lost power during in August 2011. Officials are warning that restoration could take a while for many customers. The utility prioritizes "critical infrastructure" components like 911 centers and hospitals.

“Once these issues have been addressed and we’ve completed our initial damage assessment, field assignments will be prioritized in a way that restores service to the greatest number of customers at one time," said Jeannette Mills, BGE's chief customer officer, in a statement. "Consideration will also be given to customers who have been out of service the longest. That said, a large number of our customers should expect to be without power for several days.”

To report an outage to BGE, call 877-778-2222.

Kyrle Preis, assistant chief of the Baltimore County Fire Department, said there were no major injuries to report. The county's emergency operations center opened early Saturday morning, shortly after the storms passed.

Preis said there are reports across the county of damage caused by fallen trees and debris. Fifteen homes were struck by trees; three homes were declared unsafe.

"This is one of those things where we can look at Baltimore County and draw a circle" around affected areas, he said. "This is really, really widespread."

In southwest Baltimore County, Catonsville was hit harder than Arbutus, with lights out on Rolling Road at both Edmondson Avenue and Baltimore National Pike. University of Maryland, Baltimore County is also without power.

Power is on at a majority of businesses along Frederick Road, however. 

Officers in Baltimore County Police Department's Wilkens precinct told Patch that there have been no major injuries reported as a result of Friday's storms.

For more updates on the storm in southwest Baltimore County, .

The priority for crews right now, Preis said, is downed electrical lines that may be sparking and trees blocking roadways.

"The call volume's actually going down but we still have some of our backroads and more rural areas that haven't been traversed yet," he said.

To report trees blocking county roadways, call 410-887-5210.

In addition to the power outages, the Baltimore area is set for another day of record heat. Preis advises residents to check on family and friends who may be at risk. Baltimore County ; instead, Preis advises that residents seek somewhere with air conditioning, such as a library, senior center or mall.

"Find a place to go," he said.

More severe weather to come

Forecasters say that more severe weather is on the way. Foot's Forecast says the next batch of storms not quite as intense as Friday night's system should hit central Maryland around 5 p.m. Saturday.

In the meantime, the Baltimore area is still under a heat advisory from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with highs expected to reach 100 degrees and a heat index as high as 110

Stay with Patch for more.

What's the situation like in your neighborhood? Tell us in the comments and click "Upload Photos and Video" to share your shots.

Bryan P. Sears and Penny Riordan contributed to this report.

Steve July 02, 2012 at 02:45 AM
It sure is. You would have been long gone.
Buzz Beeler July 02, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Good to hear from someone in government talking to the folks.
de. nielson July 02, 2012 at 03:21 AM
because you don't like someone on here you berate someone who agrees with the comment who do you think you are? you can't call people names because they agree with someone you feud with DUDE we have reported you 100s of times but i see patch won't remove you so we have to Police you ourselves
JD1 July 02, 2012 at 04:36 AM
Well done! We had no AC growing up and we all survived!
T July 02, 2012 at 11:03 AM
Not all of Burkleigh Square has been restored.
KM July 02, 2012 at 12:22 PM
I live in Roland Park and my power has been out since Friday night. But as I came through neighborhoods this morning, some places are a ghost town. Lights out, stores closed, tress down, trees through houses, water in their basements, damage to houses. I know people are frustrated, but BGE is trying to help everyone out. I heard this morning that there are over 150,000 trees down! It takes hours to cut down a tree because of the houses, power lines, people's safety. Not one neighborhood or person is more imortant than the other. If you are that pissed off that you don't have power, maybe you should have invested in a generator or been a little more prepared for any storm at any time. Maybe everyone should look at one thing, we are all alive. Maybe thenk God for that, instead of complaining and arguing!
You July 02, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Well said!
You July 02, 2012 at 12:43 PM
I heard that!
You July 02, 2012 at 01:00 PM
No wonder the world laughs at us in America. So many whiny, entitled victims that get really upset when they can't watch tv or sit in the air conditioning. What are the citizens in America going to do when real poop hits the fan? I find it funny that all those people who always laugh at us "goofy" citizens as we prepare for the worst while fighting for more freedoms and less laws, less taxes and less government. They call us; wacko's or gun nuts or out of touch; but I am sitting pretty, 100% well off during this whole storm in Perry Hall. Instead of spending $1500 on a big tv with my tax refund a few years ago... I bought a house generator. Instead of spending $4000 on a pool for the yard... I built a natural large fresh water pond (complete with edible fish, and plenty of water plants). Instead of repeatedly buying new vehicles to look rich and cool; I use that $400 a month car payment to buy 4 (50 G) filtered rain barrels, a huge yearly vegetable garden, a small greenhouse, and a solar sun room full of miniature banana trees, lemon/ lime trees, pineapple bushes, chilli plants and fresh herbs.
You July 02, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Buzz. Your that dependent on the words of a government official to survive or stay informed? You must love big government and take the words of the officials as bank.
Jeanne July 02, 2012 at 03:06 PM
The city has cooling stations and they are handing ice out to city citizens only. Yes I do believe all the counties should have their own cooling stations and the residents without electricity should get free ice. We all pay taxes, let the government help the people that need it. We got through summers without ac because we were using fans, how do you turn on the fan if you don't have electricity?
Jeanne July 02, 2012 at 03:20 PM
For anyone that has pets and can afford it: the Petsmart behind Harford Mall has a pet hotel, it cost $18.00 for day care and $22.00 for camp. Their number is (410)638-0330 (press 6 then 1) You can drop off your dog for the day, we usually drop off our dog for camp at 8:30am and pick him up at 7:30 pm, they will be in ac, be fed, walked inside the hotel area or if at camp playing all day except 12:00-1:00 that is rest time.The people there are great and love the animals and the break from the heat is good for the animals. They also take cats but I don't know the prices. I told a friend of mine that I know it's a lot of money, especially since you just lost all that food and have to replace it, but it is cheaper then a vet bill if you have to rush your pet in for heat stroke. Please keep in mind our pets have a fur coat so if we are hot they are even hotter. I do not work for Petsmart I just wanted to get the word out. Good luck everyone, stay cool.
Homer July 02, 2012 at 06:28 PM
i ve had it BGE is shortchnging their consumers - we pay good money each month and what do we get intreturn - less repairs crews longer repair cycles - i challenge Marks, Boetler and Cluster to find out why we have to wait 5 days for repair crews to arrive from out of state. my hood loses power first and gets restored last..this is soo wrong is not funny anymore do something or else
Parkvillehoney July 02, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Buzz, sometimes I don't agree with your ranting comments but I RESPECT your right to your opinion. Please do the same for all the people that comment on the Patch pages.
Arnie July 03, 2012 at 06:27 AM
Buzz, you're clearly a moron with a low I.Q.. And your ranting makes absolutely zero sense.
Arnie July 03, 2012 at 06:35 AM
I have power. My a/c feels great
Arnie July 03, 2012 at 06:36 AM
agreed
Parkvillehoney July 03, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Thank you Neither (D) or (R) for some sensability! Most of these "softies" couldn't make it thru a disaster if their life depended on it. I am sick of the cry babies complaining about no air conditioning, etc, etc. Think what people did BEFORE air conditioning. I can't wait for the big BROWN OUT that will come some day. People wake up. At least you are alive and not hurt or dead. Americans better tuffin up or they will be in a world of deep do do.
Lois July 03, 2012 at 06:32 PM
power still out as of today July 3rd, wires down in yard and hanging from house no updates as of today, I have 4 dogs and no where to take them.
Jeanne July 03, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Take them to Petsmart behind Harford Mall, if you can afford it they can also spend the night. Good luck to you and your family Lois.
Jeanne July 03, 2012 at 07:35 PM
First of all people without electricity are not "softies" , go several days without any electricity, that means no AC, cold food, lights, computer, TV, possibly no oven or stove, no microwave, etc..... They have lost food and now have to buy food, when they get there power back, and a lot of people don't have the money to buy twice the amount of food. Yes people have lived without AC but we could plug the fans in and use the electricity to run them to cool off, no electricity=no fans. The tempatures have been very hot, 2 code red days so far this week, and not helping. Having to buy meals, because you can't cook or don't have food to cook, is more expense. If the people going through all this want to vent, let them they deserve the chance. The only problem is the people who have to use cuss words and are nasty to specific people. Please don't blame BG&E, they are working their buts off and if they could go any faster they would. The storm created this problem and the government is not helping the counties. To everyone without electricity: I hope you get it back very soon.
Jeanne July 03, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Everyone be careful Tuesday night around 9:00, there is suposed to be another storm front coming through like fridays (not as strong) according to WBAL. For the people that do have electricity we have cut back on our use in hopes that there won't be more problems. Our Lab doesn't like that fact that our fan is not running all day but I just tell him there are doggies with no fans and no AC so too bad!! He also doesn't like being allowed upstairs but we want him to stay were it is cool.
Jeanne July 03, 2012 at 07:42 PM
not being allowed upstairs
Paul T July 03, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Well, I'm probably going to get some flak from a few people on this, but let me explain something to you people back there in the Baltimore area. I live in the foothills of the Appalachian Mts in southeastern Ohio and we got hit pretty hard with that storm, as a matter of fact there are areas out here that are still without power and probably won't get it back until sometime next week. Now nobody out here is complaining about our power company getting the power back on, mainly because we know of the extent of the damage that this storm did out here and we know that our power company and their crews are doing the best they can to restore power to the whole state of Ohio parts of West Virginia and Indiana as safely as possible. There is one thing that we, out here in the mountains have learned to do and that's be prepared, we have generators, some houses are even powered was solar power and some houses even have rain barrels and ponds to collect the rainwater. We check on our neighbors even though our closest neighbor might be half mile down the road, we make it a point to know our neighbors and who needs what helped in times like this. Oh and by the way, I'm a native of Prince Georges County, Maryland and had BG&E for a power company in the city of Bowie for 20 yrs and we helped our neighbors there also. Even shared my generator with some of my neighbors when power went out.
Buzz Beeler July 05, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Arnie, says that I'm a moron with a low IQ. What is my IQ Arnie? You made the statement. It seems to me that one who makes such a claim might want to back it up with the facts, not rhetoric. You mention rants. What rants? If you are not prepared to challenge the facts then I would not comment. It does not bode well for your comment on IQ.
Buzz Beeler July 05, 2012 at 11:22 AM
D &R, I simply thanked the councilman for taking the time to get involved in the peoples discourse. How many other politicians we here from? They have time to be in the parades though but not enough to stay in touch.
You July 05, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Cool.
Other Tim July 06, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Twist it any way you want. You are not paying for power you don't get. You don't get a refund for something you never paid for. Not entirely true, I guess. You can get a tax refund through the Earned Income Credit even if you paid no taxes.
Other Tim July 06, 2012 at 12:13 AM
He doesn't need your permission.
Steve July 06, 2012 at 12:31 AM
"What is my IQ Arnie?" Can we start a pool?

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