- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A tremendous jobThe severe storm and winds that struck June 29 and knocked out electricity to the Southern Maryland region and a large amount of customers in the Washington, D.C./Maryland/Virginia area were a major headache to homeowners, businesses and power companies. States of emergency were declared in the three areas and millions were left without power in the sweltering heat. While many in other areas waited nearly a week to see their power restored, most of us in Southern Maryland were lucky. SMECO had power restored to nearly all customers by Tuesday evening, a major feat considering SMECO spokesperson Tom Dennison told Southern Maryland Newspapers that, at its peak, more than 60,000 customers were without power — the third-highest volume of outages the company has ever faced.
To some of us, four days in record-breaking heat was enough to drive us stir crazy. All three counties offered cooling centers for people to escape homes, where being without power meant being without air conditioning. Many of us threw out countless amounts of spoiled food.
Thankfully, no one Southern Maryland perished due to the extreme weather. Sadly, one person drowned near Chesapeake Beach when the boat he was in capsized during the powerful winds.
Many of us were able to watch on television the continuing woes faced by neighbors to our north. Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco) was at the center of scrutiny and criticism due to its slow rate of power restoration. While it took Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) longer to restore power to some of its Calvert customers, they still had power restored to the vast majority of Calvert customers before customers in its main Baltimore area.
Itís easy for us to see things here in Southern Maryland could have been a lot worse.
Thankfully, SMECO had its crews out in force, and called in help from additional power companies around the country, to expedite the effort to restore power to all customers as fast as possible. With the large amount of debris, broken poles and snapped lines, the effort, naturally, took longer than anyone wanted, including SMECO. While many of us were complaining about not having our creature comforts, SMECO crews were working íround the clock directly in the heat to allow us to cool our homes and enjoy a nice, refreshing shower. It is a safe bet none of those crews enjoyed working the long hours they put in, but they did it and, thanks to their hard and dedicated work, Southern Maryland did not suffer without power as long as many others did. We commend SMECOís efforts and are thankful they were as prepared as they were to deal with the aftermath of the unexpected, violent storm.