Friday night thunderstorms leave county residents without power, shelter -- Gazette.Net


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This story was updated at 12:20 p.m. June 23.

Thousands of Prince George’s County residents are still in the dark while nearly four dozen are out of a home Saturday after Friday evening thunderstorms rolled through the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

As of noon Saturday there were still 8,100 Pepco customers in the county from a total of 17,000 customers still without power in the District, Montgomery and Prince George’s, said Myra Oppel, a Pepco spokeswoman. There are more than 225,000 Prince George’s County Pepco customers overall, according to Pepco’s website.

A total of 84 Baltimore Gas & Electric customers in the county are still without power as of noon out of more than 80,000 total county customers, according to the BGE website.

Oppel said the Bladensburg, Cheverly and Hyattsville areas were hit the hardest and that she expects power to be restored in Prince George’s by late Sunday night through early Monday morning. In the meantime, Oppel warned residents to stay away from live wires and continue to report outages such as by calling 877-PEPCO62. Oppel added that Pepco is enlisting the help of neighboring utility crews to help restore power.

“We will continue to staff the call center overnight and we will have crews working 24 hours until everyone is restored,” Oppel said.

A hospital administrator at Prince George’s Hospital Center confirmed via phone that the hospital temporarily lost power, with it being restored at 9:30 a.m., but did not have the amount of time service was knocked out.

Winds from the storms were powerful enough in Bladensburg to rip off portions of roofs of apartment complexes between the 5200 and 5500 blocks of Newton Street, said Ron Bridges, an assistant fire chief for the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. A total of 43 residents were displaced as a result, which also included a family that lived in a single family home in Bladensburg, Bridges said. A temporary shelter was made at Rogers Heights Elementary School at 4301 58th Ave. to assist residents, Bridges said. Those residents will be moved to a temporary shelter at Bladensburg High School at 4200 57th Ave., according to a Prince George’s County government release. Residents in need of help are asked to call 301-583-2230 to reach the county’s emergency operations center.

Cheverly Councilman R.J. Eldridge (Ward 3) said neighbors praised the quick response from the town’s public works department to clear downed trees in the neighborhood and Eldridge said Pepco employees are working to restore the power, particularly at the scene of a light pole that crashed onto MD Route 202 in between 57th and 58th Avenues, he said.

Today, his neighbors are helping each other clear downed branches and limbs, Eldridge said.

“The silver lining to that dark cloud was people came outside and people were spending time in their front yard, so it was nice to catch up.,” Eldridge said. “That was actually one of the nicer things about it, everybody out last night and pitching in and helping each other out.”

nmcgill@gazette.net