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Power Outages Continue to Vex North Baltimore

From the Orchards to Hampden and Woodbourne-McCabe, Baltimore residents are still dealing with power outages.

Thup thup thup thup—the sound of generators.

Verinng verinng verinng verinng—chainsaws start and cut into downed tree limbs.

These sounds could be heard throughout North Baltimore Monday evening as many neighborhoods were still cleaning up from the "Derecho," "land hurricane" or really powerful thunderstorm that pounded the area on Friday night.

Many residents—more than 58,000 according to BGE’s website—were still without power, and were trying to get through another hot night with the temperatures only expected to drop to 75 degrees. 

Frank Pierce stood outside his Hampden home, in the 3500 block of Buena Vista Avenue, drinking a large cup of water. He said he’s been without power since 11 p.m. Friday night.

"It’s hot and everything, and I can hardly sleep at night time, cause it’s hard to sleep without the air conditioner," Pierce said.

He said that he’s seen BGE crews in the neighborhood and heard rumors that the power might be on by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Just around the corner, in the 1300 block of Berry Street, John Wise said he lost power on Saturday, and that it came back on late Monday morning.

"It’s pretty trying, lets put it that way. Especially at nighttime, you’re trying to go to sleep and there’s no air, and it’s hot and sweaty. It wasn’t comfortable at all," Wise said.

Norman Carvens was taking advantage of the cooling center at Northern Community Action Center, located at 5225 York Road.

Carvens, 68, was wearing a straw hat, a polo shirt and drinking a bottle of water in the center. The Woodbourne-McCabe resident said he hasn’t had power since Friday night, and can’t remember ever being without power this long.

"It was just getting a little too hot. So I heard the center was open and everything. So I said ‘I might as well come up and get some water and sit in the air conditioning a little while,'" Carvens said.

Carvens, who is a diabetic, said despite the heat and being inconvenienced, he had sympathy for the BGE crews.

"They’re doing their best, I know how it is, they got a whole lot of them out there, they out there working 10-12 hours a day. I know how it is, because I worked that hard myself. It takes time. You just got to be patient, that’s all," Carvens said.

Sheila Peter, who lives in The Orchards, was one of the lucky few in the area who didn’t lose power. While her house still had juice, her neighbors on the west side of Kenmore Road still didn’t have electricity.

She said the last she heard there were still about 200 people in the neighborhood without power, but was sympathetic toward BGE workers trying to restore power. 

"They’re doing as well they can. And to work—you know the last couple of days were so hot—I feel sorry for them. I’m sure their houses were without power," Peter said.

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Lucy R July 03, 2012 at 04:03 PM
On Saturday afternoon the BGE automated response line said our power would be restored by 9:30 pm. At 9:30 pm it said our power would be restored by Sunday morning at 2:30 am. Later on Sunday the response had been changed to "as soon as possible"! It's now Tuesday at noon and we've got nothing. I know/believe BGE is working hard to restore power, but the uncertainty is (almost) as bad as the heat!
Adam Bednar July 03, 2012 at 04:06 PM
I'm sorry to hear about your rough go of it Lucy. If you're interested in talking to me for a story I can be reached at the contacts listed above.
Lisa Wems July 03, 2012 at 04:41 PM
the power on my block went out on Friday night before the storm! We heard a loud "pop" and then the whole neighborhood went dark. Sunday night, there was some restoration. North side of the block is restored, but only half of the homes on the South side of the street were restored. the same is true for the block just south of us. HOW does that happen?? My house is sweltering - me, my husband and my cats are all dehydrating and miserable. Had to empty my entire refrigerator.. a few hundred dollars worth of food, gone! Will BGE even give us a reduction for the now 4 days since the power ottage?
Lucy R July 03, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Lisa - I feel your pain. If you know how the power lines in your neighborhood run, it may make sense. In our neighborhood (which is only three square blocks) many of the houses get their power via a line that comes up from Falls Rd., while the rest of us get our power from a line that comes down from Lake Ave.!
Lucy R July 03, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Adam - Why don't you do a story about BGE not providing ANY specific information about their efforts, such as: how many crews are actually on the job, how many more are expected, and when, how they are prioritizing their efforts and, based on the foregoing, providing some kind of estimate as to when a given neighborhood/area (or streetlights/traffic signals or retail v. residential) is likely to be back in service. As I understand it, right now they are afraid of creating expectations that are later unmet, but isn't one of the rules of crisis management ot let people know what's going on, with some specificity? Thanks!

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