Jul 28, 2014

Annapolis Wants Its Own BGE Outage Map

City officials said a map that shows Annapolis' power outages exclusively rather than lumping it in with Anne Arundel County is key to advancing the city's emergency management services.

Annapolis Wants Its Own BGE Outage Map

Officials with Annapolis'  (OEM) said they think having a map that focuses exclusively on power outages in Annapolis will improve how the city helps vulnerable populations during extended service disruptions.

So, Director Kevin Simmons has decided to ask Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. (BGE) to create one.

BGE's current outage map shows Annapolis as part of the larger Anne Arundel County region, and it's nearly impossible to figure out how many city residents are without power at any given time.

"We want to work with BGE to narrowly define an outages map for Annapolis," Simmons said. "NOAA created a customized map to let us know when the Severn is flooding."

A few years ago Simmons traveled to Virginia with Annapolis' harbor master and the  commander to meet with officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) about creating a customized map that shows how much the water level rises at the  Severn River.

Simmons checks the map daily to see if there is reason to believe Annapolis will flood.

"What we want to do with BGE is something similar," he said. "We could have a better number than a guesstimate on how many people are out of power."

It could also help Simmons' team determine when vulnerable populations like the elderly and sick are without power—something he would like to improve upon.

People who are categorized as vulnerable are sent to BGE on a priority-restoration list after an outage because they often have medications the require refrigeration or medical devices that need power to operate.

"The short answer is we are certainly willing to work with the city and any other jurisdiction with an eye towards enhancing restoration activities, but that said we still have to go through the PSC review process which is under way," said BGE spokesman Rob Gould.

Maryland Public Service Commission, which regulates BGE, is reviewing how the utility company preformed in its power restoration efforts after the June 29 storm, according to  CBS Baltimore.

The company has three weeks from the storm's date to provide the commission with a detailed report.

Simmons said he hopes to start conversations with BGE soon.

Do you think Annapolis needs its own power outage map? Tell me in the comments.

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