Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Howard County leaders said they have new information to better identify neighborhoods in need of assistance.
First the first time, Howard County safety officials say they have specific information on neighborhoods still without power in the aftermath of a major storm. They will be using this information to send fire and safety officials to homes Wednesday evening that have been without power for the longest periods of time since Hurricane Sandy hit this week While the outages from Sandy are less widespread than those of recent storms, “the new data is still valuable,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman in a press release. As of Wednesday at 3:40 p.m., 3,534 Howard County residents were without power, according to BGE. Power has been restored to more than 34,000 households in Howard County, BGE is reporting. Sandy dumped nearly 7 inches of …
Friday, September 14, 2012
But at a hearing with the PSC, the chief executive officer supported the utility's decision to withhold information from officials to protect customers' privacy.
The chief executive officer of BGE told the state’s utilities regulator on Thursday that the only way to shorten the length of major power outages would be to have a “very different delivery system,” the Baltimore Sun reports. BGE CEO Kenneth W. DeFontes Jr. was speaking at a Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) hearing, scheduled after more than 760,000 Maryland residents lost power in the wake of the late-June derecho storm. At the hearing, which is standard procedure after “major outage events,” DeFontes reportedly told regulators that BGE would need to bury some power lines–and more aggressively trim trees–to prevent more long-term outages. After June’s derecho, customers who lost power were in the dark for an average of 38 hours…
Monday, August 13, 2012
Follow-up to June storm is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the George Howard Building.
The Public Service Commission is hosting a public hearing in Ellicott City Wednesday evening, one of several statewide so citizens can discuss utility company responses to the devastating June 29 storm. In Maryland, it took BGE eight days to restore power to the 748,000 customers whose service was knocked out, 62 percent of its statewide customer base. In July, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and other county leaders sent a letter to the Public Service Commission, which regulates BGE, asking that it require utility companies to make operational improvements. The Howard County hearing will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 15, in the George Howard Building. Other hearings are scheduled for Baltimore on Tuesday, Aug. 14; and Towson, on …
Friday, August 3, 2012
The June 29 derecho swept half the sign off Route 1 building.
One of the casualties in Elkridge from the violent June 29 storm was half of the sign for The Main St. Barbershop. "The storm took it and busted it," said owner Angie Cornelison. As of Aug. 3, the sign had been repaired and was fully visible on Route 1. Cornelison said she took the sign to another Elkridge business, More Than Just Signs, for the job. Are you still dealing with storm damage? Tell us in the comments.
'...no utility east of the Mississippi River could have anticipated the raw strength of this storm system.' —BGE report
The unpredictability of the June derecho was an important factor in the scope and length of power outages across BGE’s service area, according to a new report filed with the state. BGE filed its Major Outage Event Report with the Public Service Commission on July 30 as is required by Maryland law after a "major outage event." The derecho, which hit on June 29, left more than three quarters of a million Maryland customers in the dark – 62 percent of BGE’s customer base in Maryland. Focus on BGE's response intensified after a letter from Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and six other elected municipal heads. In it, they said BGE refused to give them specific outage information directly after the storm hit, and that the utility generally …
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Howard County officials outline costs and damages.
In responding to the violent June 29 storm, Howard County racked up approximately $246,000 in costs, according to county government spokesman Kevin Enright. Of that, $61,732 came from state agencies like the State Highway Administration, said Enright. Here's where the other $184,494.32 went, according to Howard County's Department of Finance. Category From the residential side, there were 27 calls about trees hitting homes between June 29 and July 2, said Jackie Cutler, spokeswoman for Howard County's Department of Fire and Rescue Services. Here's where they hit: See related articles: Sign up for the Elkridge Patch newsletter, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Are you still recovering from derecho? Tell us in the comments.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
The county spent $0.86 per capita related to the June 29 and 30 storm.
Gov. Martin O'Malley requested federal aid recently for six jurisdictions in Maryland as a result of the storm that hit at the end of June, and Howard County, which incurred more than $240,000 in storm costs, wasn't one of them. To be included in the request for federal aid, Howard County would have needed to spend $3.39 per capita in storm costs, according to Kevin Enright, spokesman for the county government. Storm-related costs for the county totaled $0.86 per capita, said Enright. Howard County tallied up its storm-related costs to $184,494, said Enright, and combined with state agencies' expenditures—like the State Highway Administration and the Department of Social Services—the grand total was $246,226, or $0.86 per capita, said …
Friday, July 20, 2012
The Public Service Commission will hear from residents across the state about their outages.
Maryland's utility regulator has scheduled hearings across the state to hear from residents about their experiences with the utilities during the powerful derecho storm that knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of residents. The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) will hear testimony from Howard County residents at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the George Howard Building in Ellicott City. Residents who wish to submit written testimony may do so by Sept. 10. Mail comments to: David J. Collins, Executive Secretary, Maryland Public Service Commission, William Donald Schaefer Tower, 6 St. Paul Street, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202. In a July 10 letter to the PSC, officials said that utilities needed to improve performance, …
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
BGE and Pepco will reportedly be able to charge a fee for losses suffered when power was out to hundreds of thousands after the June 29 storm.
This story was updated to include comments from BGE. BGE and Pepco are allowed to recoup some of the money lost after the severe storm June 29 by charging a fee to be paid by customers who were without power, 9 News Now reported. "It's the law," Pepco spokesman Bob Hainey told 9 News Now. "It's called bill stabilization." Should bill stabilization result from a storm-induced power outage? Tell us in the comments. "The storm adjustment kicks in automatically,"Maryland Public Service Commission spokeswoman Regina Davis told 9 News Now. "The BSA (Bill Stabilization Adjustment) is calculated and applied by the companies, but checked by PSC staff and we make the utilities correct it if they get it wrong." The charge, BGE Spokesman Rob Gould …
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
In a letter to the utilities' regulatory agency, leaders of seven jurisdictions outline changes they said need to be made in light of the power failures during the derecho storm.
Less than two weeks after a massive storm disabled power to more than three quarters of a million Maryland residents, elected leaders wrote in a letter to a state regulatory agency that utility companies need to improve their performance and disclose critical outage information when government agencies request it. In the letter to the Public Service Commission, officials urged the regulatory agency to consider changes to the way utilities operate, including burying some power lines underground, mandatory staffing levels and improved disclosure of outage information to local municipal officials. The letter was signed by Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and the executives of Anne Arundel, …