Storm re­sponse was ex­cel­lent

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Mon­day marked the first day of spring and, af­ter last week’s pound­ing of ice and winds, it could not have come soon enough.

While this win­ter was rather mild for Charles County, last week was enough of a headache for lo­cals to make us all want to be done with the sea­son. Many fore­cast­ers were pre­dict­ing that Win­ter Storm Stella was go­ing to slam north­ern parts of Mary­land while South­ern Mary­land was just go­ing to re­ceive a mild win­tery mix, mostly rain. Stella had other ideas. In­stead of mostly rain, much of the county was coated in a sheen of ice, weigh­ing down tree branches. The soak­ing rains soft­ened the ground, and then strong winds cre­ated per­fect con­di­tions for fall­ing trees, and, in no time at all, thou­sands of SMECO cus­tomers were left with­out power. The Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, county roads divi­sion and lo­cal vol­un­teer fire de­part­ments were kept busy with calls for ser­vice, re­spond­ing to every­thing from car ac­ci­dents to traf­fic lights be­ing out to trees block­ing road­ways to downed power lines.

At some point, ac­cord­ing to a SMECO spokesper­son, there were as many as 44,800 cus­tomers in­di­vid­u­ally af­fected by power out­ages.

And last Tues­day’s weather con­di­tions con­tin­ued to ham­per ef­forts to re­store power as strong wind gusts caused al­ready stressed trees and power lines to snap, caus­ing more out­ages. SMECO was aided in restor­ing power by North­ern Vir­ginia Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive, Chop­tank Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive and con­trac­tor crews from Delaware, work­ing as quickly as pos­si­ble around the clock. By 4:35 p.m. Wed­nes­day, SMECO re­ported ser­vice had been re­stored to all cus­tomers.

While win­ter is hope­fully be­hind us, so be­gins the up­com­ing se­vere storm sea­son. We quite of­ten take for granted the crea­ture com­forts elec­tric­ity pro­vides for us, be it heat­ing and air con­di­tion­ing, food stor­age, in­ter­net ac­cess, light, power for our var­i­ous elec­tronic de­vices and ap­pli­ances. It’s a mi­nor in­con­ve­nience to go with­out power for a few min­utes, but very dis­tress­ing when it stretches into hours or even days.

Any­time there is an in­ci­dent of this na­ture, SMECO is top notch in restor­ing power quickly. There are other power com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in the state and many peo­ple liv­ing in the ar­eas ser­viced by those com­pa­nies con­stantly com­plain about their providers’ slow re­sponse to restor­ing power. Few have that com­plaint about SMECO. They have con­sis­tently shown that when there is a weather event on the hori­zon, they mo­bi­lize their force and get right to work when out­ages oc­cur, work­ing me­thod­i­cally to re­store power to as many cus­tomers as pos­si­ble as soon as pos­si­ble. We ap­pre­ci­ate all of your ef­forts and are proud to have such a pro­fes­sional and ded­i­cated crew work­ing for the peo­ple of Charles County and South­ern Mary­land.

And while we want to rec­og­nize the her­culean ef­forts of our SMECO crews, we also need to commend our first re­spon­ders and county roads crews who were also out en­sur­ing mo­torists and pedes­tri­ans could travel safely through­out the re­gion. While we were fret­ting about out­ages, you were out there weath­er­ing the af­ter­math to en­sure our safety. Your ef­forts, too, should not go un­no­ticed or un­ap­pre­ci­ated. We think we can speak for the vast ma­jor­ity of Charles County res­i­dents when we say we are very thank­ful for all of you.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.