Two-thirds of BGE's Irene outages repaired
I just took a look at the latest numbers from BGE on how the restoration of electric service is going. Looks like their own crews, contractors and mutual-aid crews from Midwest and Pa. utilities have restored service to about two-thirds of all the customers who lost power during Irene.
The utility reports on its website (at about 10:20 a.m.) that of the 743,000 outages they faced from the storm, about 500,000 have been repaired. Some 243,000 customers were still waiting for their lights to come back on.
Hardest-hit were Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties. In Baltimore County, 234,278 customers lost their power at some point during the storm. That's 63 percent of the total that BGE serves there. In Anne Arundel, 176,045 customers lost their lights. That is 74 percent of the total. I'm not sure if the total double-counts those who lost their power more than once. But it gives you a sense of the scale of the damage.
Of course, if it's your power that's still out, that's still 100 percent of the outages that remain to be cleared up, and you're still looking for the first bucket truck to show up. Keep in mind that it only makes sense for the utility to first tackle the line breaks that affect the most customers. If your lights are out because a tree fell in your back yard, and your neighbors were unaffected, you will be waiting at the end of the line. That's only fair. Inconvenient to say the least. But fair.
The 743,000 total is close to 50 percent more outages than the company planned for, and equal to 58 percent of the entire system of 1.3 million customers. Company officials said before Irene struck that they were planning for up to 500,000 outages in the BGE service area, but were prepared to expand the response if needed. Turns out it was needed.
(SUN PHOTO: Jeffrey F. Bill)