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BGE: Summer storm outages averaged 37.5 hours

Baltimore Gas & Electric said in a report to state regulators that a summer storm that knocked out power to more than a million people statewide, caused more than 762,000 of its customers to lose power with the average outage lasting 37.5 hours.

The report laid part of the blame on weather forecasts.

BGE said the average outage lasted 37.5 hours and nearly 430,000 customers were without power at one point. The details are in a report that utilities are required to file with the Maryland Public Service Commission.

The outages began on a Friday, June 29, and full service was restored Sunday, July 8.

BGE said the outages were similar to Hurricane Irene and the utility had 1,000 fewer people, many of whom could not arrive until 2 and 1/2 days into the recovery because utilities across the region and in the Midwest were also dealing with storm outages.

The report also blamed forecasts by private and government weather services before the storm him saying the company “did not receive any advance severe weather warning to allow for pre-mobilization.”

“This lack of timely advance warning by any of these weather service providers prevented BGE from requesting mutual assistance prior to the event’s impact,” the report said.

The report was filed days after BGE said it was seeking to increase distribution rates to comply with new state and federal reliability and public safety requirements.

Washington-area utility Pepco said in it its report that it “mobilized quickly, calling on both internal and external resources” to restore power to homes and businesses left in the dark and without air-conditioning after the June 29 storms. But Pepco also took responsibility for software glitches that affected tens of thousands of calls for service and for its inability to tell customers when the lights would be back on.

Pepco also stressed that unlike with a hurricane, it had little advance notice of the straight-line storms that were just as devastating.

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