- The Washington Times - Monday, August 29, 2011

Maryland utility providers have restored power to more than 40 percent of customers who lost electricity during Hurricane Irene, state officials said Monday afternoon.

About 472,000 residences and business remain without power, Gov. Martin O'Malley said at a noon Monday news conference. About 822,000 customers had lost power during the storm, which pelted the state with heavy rain and winds Saturday night to early Sunday morning.

Mr. O'Malley praised utility companies for working “around the clock” to restore power, but said residents would not be satisfied until power is fully restored, which he said could take “several” more days.

Pepco, the provider for the District and much of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, reported shortly before 1 p.m. that about 170,000 of its intial 220,000 outages have been restored.
Mr. O'Malley said Baltimore Gas and Electric still has about 354,000 outages — about three-quarters of the state’s outages.

“I think none of us won’t be satisfied until everybody gets back turned on,” Mr. O'Malley said, adding that the outages vastly exceeded those seen after the blizzards of 2010, when only 333,000 customers lost power.
The governor said this morning the state essentially survived Hurricane Irene, and he praised residents for heeding safety warnings, including notices to evacuate and stay indoors.

“We’re very proud of the people in our state,” Mr. O'Malley, Democrat, said on WTOP-FM radio. “Overall we came through this very well. But we’ve just got to keep working.”

The governor said the major concern now is making sure hospitals and other health-care facilities have power. He said several hospitals were without power yesterday but he thinks they are operating this morning. However, a major concern is restoring power to kidney dialysis centers.



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