Hurricane Irene Updates

| August 25, 2011 | 1 Comment

<–please share this page with your facebook friends, twitter followers, and google by clicking the icons to the left. The better informed people are, the better off we all will be.

UPDATE: 08:05am 08/29/2011:  We will be un-pinning this post from the top of the page and begin to resume normalcy. Any new developments will be created in a new post (ie: school closings,major news, BGE significant updates, etc.) Please keep in mind that BGE is working as fast as they can and expect that it will take through at least Tuesday for full restoration.  We will be posting some more photos and video to the site as they become available. And finally, thank you so much for reading and clicking!  We appreciate you!

UPDATE 05:53pm 08/28/2011: From BGE, will be several days before service is fully restored.

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced that it has restored electric service to more than 177,000 customers.  However the utility expects the restoration effort to continue for at least the next several days.  In addition to massive amounts of tree debris which fell onto power lines and other electric delivery equipment during Hurricane Irene, new outages continue to occur as a result of ongoing high wind which is causing trees already weakened by the hurricane and sitting in saturated ground to fall onto power distribution equipment in the hours since the storm exited Central Maryland. At 9:00 a.m. today, BGE experienced its peak number of customers affected at 466,000 outages. Customers are reminded to stay informed on restoration progress via www.bge.com, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.

“If you are experiencing a power outage and have not reported it, BGE continues to ask its customers to report downed wires and outages by calling 1-877-778-2222. Once an outage is reported, there is no need to report it again,” said Jeannette M. Mills, senior vice president and chief customer officer for BGE.  “BGE also reminds its customers that it no longer distributes dry ice. This allows BGE to focus more attention and resources on the restoration effort.”

As always, restoration priorities are public safety matters such as downed wires and critical infrastructure which includes 911 centers, hospitals, and water treatment facilities. Additionally, emphasis is being placed on the utility’s 33kV feeder network, which provides the backbone for BGE’s electric distribution network.  Once these issues have been addressed, field assignments will be prioritized in order to restore service to the greatest number of customers at a time. Consideration also will be given to customers who have been without electric service the longest.

“Roughly 3,700 company, contract and out-of-state personnel are actively engaged in the restoration effort and have been working around-the-clock, even when the hurricane was still making its way through Central Maryland,” said A. Christopher Burton, senior vice president of gas and electric operations and planning for BGE. “BGE reminds customers that the safety of its customers and employees is the company’s top priority. Across the service territory, high wind brought down whole trees and tree limbs onto power lines and electrical equipment, causing outages. Removing tree debris – a task that must be completed before work can begin to fix damaged electric equipment – is even more time consuming than removing normal tree debris and will extend outage durations. BGE thanks its customers for their continued patience and understanding.”

As a reminder, BGE customers who may be elderly, handicapped or dependent on electricity for medical equipment, should always have alternate arrangements in place should they experience an extended power outage.  Customers using a generator should follow manufacturer instructions and be sure to locate generators in well-ventilated areas. For more information about BGE storm preparation and how customers can protect their families and property, go to www.bge.com.

Just as BGE prepares for severe weather and the possibility of power outages, customers should also be prepared and take steps to ensure the safety of their families and property during electric service interruptions. Customers should keep the following items readily available:

       Flashlights – not candles

       Fresh batteries

       Battery operated clock radio

       Corded telephone

       Fully charged cell phone

       Non-perishable foods

       Blankets

Customers also should consider filling the fuel tanks of their vehicles in the event a power outage affects service to neighborhood gas stations. For customers who rely on well water, filling a bathtub with water in advance of severe weather is strongly encouraged. 

In addition to monitoring current and approaching weather conditions which could result in service interruptions, BGE regularly conducts emergency training drills during which all aspects of storm related service restoration are tested.

UPDATE 05:02pm 08/28/2011: Due to a number of schools being without power and transportation issues, all ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND OFFICES WILL BE CLOSED ON MONDAY AUGUST 29, 2011. Additionally, the school’s website is down as the Central Office, where the server is located, is currently without power.

UPDATE 04:39pm 08/28/2011:  Twitter follower dsrnyc sent in the following photo of a downed utility pole near Brashears Street in Annapolis.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/dsrnyc/status/107913395759616001″]

UPDATE 04:21pm 08/28/2011: kvaughn_88, a twitter follower just sent in ths photo of a downed tree in Edgewater. These are the issues BGE is dealing with to restore power.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/kvaughn_88/status/107907443018842112″]

UPDATE 03:57pm 08/28/2011: Nightowwll, a twitter follower just sent in this photo of a home in Arnold that was hit by a tree and subsequently condemned.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/Nightowwlll/status/107901181925392385″]

 

UPDATE 03:10pm 08/28/2011: Kevin Carroll sent in these shots of the damage in downtown Annapolis. All images in this update are © Kevin Carroll:

UPDATE 03:05pm 08/28/2011: The power and Internet has been restored. However, we had a server take a surge last night so we are operating on 3/4 power until we can get that sorted out.  For updates, please follow us on Twitter. You do not need an account to see our stream. The video we took yesterday as the storm approached was on the server and we will put that up as soon as we are able to recover it.

UPDATE 05:28pm 08/27/2011: Another Eye On Annapolis reader sent in these two pictures of swimmers and surfers in the Bay Ridge community.

UPDATE 03:27pm 08/27/2011: From an Eye On Annapolis reader in the Arundel on the Bay community, a windsurfer idiot. Very hard to see as he is way out in the Chesapeake Bay.

UPDATE 03:04pm 08/27/2011: From Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold regarding capabilities at shelter.

County Executive Leopold has opened Annapolis High School as an emergency shelter for residents who need to evacuate in anticipation of Hurricane Irene.

“We are strongly encouraging citizens who live in low-lying areas such as Deale, Shady Side and Bayside Beach to evacuate for their safety,” County Executive Leopold said. “As a precaution, we are also providing transportation for emergencies from the Deale, Lothian and Shady Side fire stations to the shelter.”

The shelter at Annapolis High School is equipped with a backup generator and stocked with 120 cots, with an additional 140 cots on standby. It will be open for at least 24 hours as the storm passes through. The shelter also has space for citizens to bring their pets. Please bring supplies for them, such as medications and food.

The National Weather Service is anticipating the height of the storm to hit our area around 2 a.m. Sunday morning. Irene is a Category I hurricane moving northward over the Outer Banks of North Carolina with winds between 40 and 50 mph with gusts of 50 to 75 mph. The storm is expected to pass Virginia Beach at 8 p.m. tonight and Atlantic City by 8 a.m. Sunday. Tidal surges of 3 to 6 feet are expected.

Baltimore Gas & Electric is anticipating power outages. During Hurricane Isabel in 2003, 196,000 of 230,000 customers in Anne Arundel County were without power. To contact BGE, call 410-685-0123.

Volunteers are fielding non-emergency calls at the Emergency Operations Center in Glen Burnie, which will activate at 6 p.m. You can reach the EOC at 410-222-0600.

The Office of Emergency Management has been broadcasting Code Red messages to thousands of residents. These calls advising people to seek higher ground are NOT a hoax. Please also be advised that Annapolis High School is the only official shelter in the County. Southern Middle School is NOT opened as a shelter.

UPDATE: 11:52am 08/27/2011: From Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management regarding additional shelter.

Shelter opening in Laurel: Maryland City Baptist Church on Brockbrige Rd. No pets, limited access to wheel chairs, bring bedding, snacks, drinks, flashlights, any medications or supplies you may need. They do not have a generator. Opening today at 4 pm. 301-725-3609

UPDATE 11:25am 08/27/2011: From Eye ON Annapolis contributing photographer Kevin Carroll, here are some storm preparations downtown in Annapolis underway this morning.  All photos in this update are © Kevin Carroll.

 

UPDATE 10:02am 08/27/2011: From Eye On Annapolis reader, BGE trucks lined up on I-695 in preparation of storm.

(c) 2011 Rie Sadler

UPDATE 09:43am 08/27/2011: From the Maryland Historic Trust:

The Maryland Historical Trust has created a Hurricane Preparedness and Recovery page on its website.  If you live in a historic or older home, please take a look at the website link.  Not only does the site provide information about protecting your property from damaging winds and water, but it also addresses things you need to know about insurance claims, cleaning up landscape debris, drying out water damaged property and selecting a contractor.  There is also a damage assessment form and instructions on how to report damaged properties to the Maryland Historical Trust.  Also, please remember, if you have questions regarding what to do about a non-emergency issue during the coming storm, please contact the Hurricane Call Center at 410/260-2211.  The Center is staffed 24 hours and someone will be there to handle your call.  If you need assistance after the storm, please call the Annapolis Historic Preservation Division at 410/263-7941 for questions on repair work in the Historic District.

UPDATE 09:38am 08/27/2011: From Annapolis City Hall. More sandbags available:

Mayor Joshua J. Cohen announced the City of Annapolis has provided an additional 2,200 pounds of sand and 1,500 sand bags for Annapolis City residents. This is only available to Annapolis City residents.

The sand and bags can be found in the usual locations: Mills Liquor Store at the base of Main Street, the Market House, and also at the Second Street Pumping Station in Eastport next to the Maritime Museum.

The sand and bags will be rationed for better distribution. Businesses will be given ten bags and residents will be given six.

Please bring a shovel, as you are responsible for filling the bag.

These bags are in addition to the 2,400 sand bags already provided.

The mayor has directed all four City garages to allow all residents in the City to park for free. Residents must show identification. This is being done for several reasons: First, to provide a place for those who are evacuating; second, to get as many vehicles off the street and allow first responders more room to maneuver on old, narrow streets; and third, to provide a place to safely park your vehicle.

The Annapolis High School will open as a pet-friendly shelter at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 27. Anyone needing assistance with transportation to the shelter should call 410-260-2211 after 3:00 p.m. Saturday, August 27.

Non-emergency calls should continue to be directed to the City of Annapolis’ Emergency Call Center at 410-260-2211.

UPDATE 08:05am 08/27/2011: Wow! Several people sent us tweets that The Weather Channel is following us on Twitter and featured one of our tweets last night on their broadcast.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/brandonlinton/status/107293326587330562″]

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/StanBice3/status/107293970366873602″]

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/Nightowwlll/status/107308899505414144″]

And thanks to @NightOwwlll for capturing the shots!

UPDATE 09:56pm 08/26/2011: From Six Flags America:

In light of the forecasted Hurricane this weekend, Six Flags America & Hurricane Harbor will not open as previously scheduled. The safety of our Guests and Team Members is our first priority. We plan to return to our regular operating schedule next weekend for the Labor Day Holiday. Any tickets purchased for this weekend will be valid for the remainder of the 2011 operating season. Be safe this weekend & we’ll see you soon!

UPDATE 09:17pm 08/26/2011:  The Safeway on Forest Drive and the 7 Eleven at Bay Ridge and Edgewood Road were not taking any chances.

 

UPDATE 07:05pm 08/26/2011: From City of Annapolis, police will go door-to door in low lying areas and beef up staffing.

Mayor Joshua J. Cohen announces that Police Chief Pristoop will deploy additional officers to patrol the City, providing public safety resources during and after the storm.

Beginning this evening, both Fire and Police officers will go door to door in low-lying areas notifying residents of the evacuation procedures.

Chief Michael Pristoop stated: “Everyone needs to be prepared for the worst. I encourage everyone to evacuate the low-lying areas of Annapolis before Saturday afternoon. Make sure you secure your homes and belongings. Once we begin to feel the effects of the hurricane, everyone should stay off the streets as wires and trees may come down. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way and don’t put our emergency personnel in a position that could have been avoided.”

The City provided 1,600 sandbags, twice as many as during Hurricane Isabel. The City later brought in an additional 800, which were rationed for better distribution.

The mayor has directed all four City garages to allow all residents in the City to park for free. Residents must show identification. This is being done for several reasons: First, to provide a place for those who are evacuating; second, to get as many vehicles off the street and allow first responders more room to maneuver on old, narrow streets; and third, to provide a place to safely park your vehicle.

The Annapolis High School will open as a pet-friendly shelter at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 27. Anyone needing assistance with transportation to the shelter should call 410-260-2211 after 3:00 p.m. Saturday, August 27.

Non-emergency calls should continue to be directed to the City of Annapolis’ Emergency Call Center at 410-260-2211.

The current path puts Hurricane Irene over the Carolina Outer Banks Saturday afternoon. Annapolis could begin to feel the effects of the storm late Saturday morning with winds gusting to 60 mph in the afternoon. Gusts will be at their peak in Annapolis between 6:00 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday.

Go to www.annapolis.gov for updated information.

Parks and Recreation has announced the following changes will be in effect due to the impending storm:

Saturday, Aug 27

Normal operations/hours at Moyer Recreation Center and Stanton Center

Pool is open as long as weather is good

Fields Close at 2 p.m.

Sunday, Aug 28

All Recreation and Parks facilities are CLOSED (Moyer Center, Pool and Stanton Center are closed)

The Wee Sale will NOT be held.

Monday, Aug 29

Watch the local news and radio/website for any further schedule changes.<

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