- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Once again, Maryland has met the challenge of extreme weather, enduring Hurricane Sandy’s high winds and heavy rain and the resulting damage. On behalf of everyone at Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., I want to thank our customers for preparing their families, homes and businesses for this storm and for their patience as we responded to power outages and repaired damage across eight Maryland counties and Baltimore city.
Recovering from natural disasters is a community effort. We greatly appreciate the close coordination with emergency responders, state and local governments and local media for helping to keep everyone safe and well-informed.
With storms of this magnitude, we also look outside of our own community for support. More than 1,900 utility workers from 14 states answered BGE’s calls for assistance, many setting out for Maryland well before the storm. These skilled and selfless professionals left their loved ones and traveled hundreds of miles to undertake a potentially dangerous restoration effort. For that we are humbled and grateful. Many of these crews, now joined by BGE crews, are continuing on to assist communities to the north that are still struggling to recover. We keep them in our thoughts and pray for their continued safety and a return to their homes and families soon.
Altogether, more than 5,600 BGE employees and external resources worked tirelessly to repair the system and restore service to all affected customers. Within 48 hours of the storm’s passing, more than 90 percent of affected customers had their power restored. We did not let up until every customer was restored.
In the days and weeks ahead, we will conduct inspections in order to ensure the integrity and overall reliability of the electric system. Among other things, we will address trees damaged by this destructive weather system that could cause future outages. Maintenance of our grid will be ongoing, and we continue with our plans to invest approximately $3 billion in our system over the next five years. We also continue to innovate, adding more smart meters to the system on a daily basis, a technology that we were able to test during this storm and which we believe will make future restoration efforts more efficient.
Thanks again to all of our customers for demonstrating preparedness and an understanding of the effort necessary to recover from major weather events. You make us proud to serve you and to do the difficult but necessary work of preparing for challenges ahead.
Jeannette M. Mills, Baltimore
The writer is vice president of customer operations and chief customer officer of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.