Two days after strong thunderstorms and heavy winds pummeled parts of Baltimore and Carroll counties, nearly 16,000 customers across the region are still without power, according to Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.’s outage map.
As of 4:30 p.m., that included 8,459 households and businesses in Carroll County and 3,946 in Baltimore County.
The “vast majority” of people experiencing outages should have service restored Wednesday night, BGE said, though it may take until the weekend to bring back power to some people in Westminster who live near the area where between 20-30 utility poles were knocked down by the storm.
The stretch of Maryland Route 140 where the poles were downed remains closed. BGE said crews worked to remove the downed poles on Tuesday and started installing new ones Wednesday morning.
Jane Ballentine, a senior communications specialist for the utility company, said the project is a “multiple day event” and includes the installation of insulators and transmission and distribution lines for delivering electricity.
BGE anticipates opening one side of Route 140 by Thursday afternoon, but that could be pushed back by a new system of thunderstorms moving through the area, Ballentine said.
Ultimately, the decision to reopen the busy road is up to the Maryland State Highway Administration. A spokesperson said the agency did not yet have a timeline.
Meanwhile, the 34 vehicles that were trapped by the downed poles during the storm have been moved to a nearby parking lot, where owners can retrieve them, Maryland State Police said.
After surveying the damage Tuesday morning, Gov. Wes Moore thanked the first responders who got dozens of drivers and passengers in those vehicles to safety.
“There were people who were stuck and stranded in cars who were able to sleep in their own beds last night,” Moore said.
No serious injuries were reported.
Jeffrey Campbell told WJZ that he spent five tense hours inside his SUV after he and other motorists became trapped under the power lines.
“I was like, ‘I’m not touching that wire,’” Campbell said. “It was just good to have my feet on solid ground. It was just one of those epic moments, you could hear the symphony orchestra going off in the background.”
BGE is operating its Mobile Operations Command Center at the TownMall of Westminster until 7 p.m. Wednesday to answer questions about “the extent of the reconstruction necessary in the area and provide additional details about restoration times.”
Elsewhere in Carroll County, there were eight other road closures due to downed trees, poles or wires, according to a list compiled by the Bureau of Roads Operations.
And there were seven road closures in Baltimore County, largely in northern, more rural areas, said Sean Naron, director of communications for the county.