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Strong, gusty winds cause power outages and toppled trees across Maryland

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Posted at 6:20 AM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-26 08:02:41-05

BALTIMORE — Road closures, fallen trees and downed power lines, tens of thousands of people were impacted by the high winds Sunday night and Monday.

Fortunately, there were no reports of injuries, but crews had their hands full as they balance repairs with reports of new damage.

Weakened by the soaked ground, many trees, like the ones across Bellona Avenue tumbled to the ground with the strong winds, taking power lines down with them and making the road impassable. On Cromwell Bridge Road, huge limbs fell leaving people without electricity.

"The branch fell behind my neighbor's house and was sparking around their backyard for awhile, and I actually thought the yard was on fire, which was concerning, but then I noticed the fire department was already on site and they were waiting for BGE to get back there so they could deal with it," said Brian Holsey.

BGE crews who worked through the night see little relief in sight.

"As of about mid-day, we're restored service to more than 30,000 customers. However, because the wind is continuing, we continue to see new outages so we're responding to restore our customers as safely and as quickly as possible," said Linda Foy, BGE Senior Communications Manager.

At that point, crews still had 7,5000 customers waiting for the power to come back on, and those numbers fluctuated with the winds as crews would fix one problem and get reports of another. For the most part though, people were counting themselves lucky.

"If we get heavy winds, this area is usually problematic, because we have all these trees, some of them very old, and a lot of branches falling and the power lines run right through them so it causes a lot of issues," said Holsey.

BGE asks its customers to report any outages and just don't assume the company knows about it. They also says some people who have had their power restores could lose it again as the winds continue.

The latest power outages reported by BGE as of 7:45 a.m. Tuesday:

  • Anne Arundel County: Customers affected - 23, Customers restored - 11,113
  • Baltimore County: Customers affected - 42, Customers restored - 13,831
  • Baltimore City: Customers affected - 27, Customers restored - 12,080
  • Calvert County: Customer affected - less than 5, Customers restored - 618
  • Carroll County: Customers affected - 8, Customers restored - 2,897
  • Harford County: Customers affected - 14, Customers restored - 2,680
  • Howard County: Customers affected - 6, Customers restored - 4,647
  • Montgomery County: Customers affected - less than 5, Customers restored - 4
  • Prince George's County: Customers affected - less than 3, Customers restored - 1,716

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Overall, BGE says that almost 50,000 customers had to have their power restored after the storm.

BGE says they increased staffing and mobilized crews and they are working as quickly and safely as they can to restore service to all customers.

"Customers, too, should be aware that BGE crews must avoid hazardous road conditions and remove downed trees and large limbs from power lines before repairs can be completed. Additionally, operation of bucket trucks for overhead repairs is limited in high winds. These conditions have the potential to hinder storm response," BGE said in a release.

If you see wires down, do not go anywhere near them. Call 911 or call BGE at 1-800-685-0123. You can report an outage by calling 1-877-778-2222 or you can go online at bge.com.