Those without power thankful for BGE response

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A flurry of activity on Harbor Drive in Annapolis came within 36 hours of the outage that left homeowners like Don Rice in the dark.

"I was sitting in a chair in here watching the TV, and the lights went out.  What I heard was on this telephone pole right here -- the transformer at the top," he said. "When the tree and pole over there went across the road, it hit the line. It whipsawed it, and the transformer came right off the top and hit. I heard that hit."

Sandy knocked out power to almost 350,000 BGE customers in Maryland, but with millions of outages in New Jersey and New York, people here remain thankful.

"That looks like a war zone, and it's hard to imagine," said Gene Dadin with BGE. "The pictures of New York City with yellow cabs covered to the roof, we were lucky. The people here responded well."

Anchored by 1,900 linesmen from as far away as Florida, New Mexico and Missouri, BGE is moving swiftly to tackle the toppled trees and downed lines.

"All that guide wire can be pulled out of the tree," Dadin said of the issue.

Kevin Gillilan and his crew drove from Tipton, Missouri to lend a hand.

"It was 17 hours," he said. For our trucks, it was two days-worth, and what did we expect? Because, with Sandy, there was an awful lot of talk. I went down to Katrina, so I was expecting the same kind of damage."
It's the same expectation that many Marylanders had before dodging the most destructive force of the superstorm that spanned more than a thousand miles. Now, many of them are thankful with the help of the BGE crews that they can rebound so quickly.

"They've come in. We've stayed out of their way. They've been very responsive," Darlene Dunn said. " If you walk over, they talk with you. I've been very happy with what they've done. They've gotten us up and running so far pretty quickly."

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