They could lead to electric outages.
In addition to warmer temperatures and plenty of sunshine, the summer season is also known for powerful thunderstorms, like the one which came through Frederick County on Tuesday. Potomac Edison urges customers to be ready in case their electricity goes out. “We’re making plans before the lights ever go out to try to get your lights back on as quickly as possible,” says Potomac Edison spokesman Todd Myers. “And, conversely, our customers, if they know there’s bad weather in the forecast, they can get prepared themselves as well.”
Myers says those preparations should include stocking up on bottled water and non-perishable food that can be prepared without cooking. If customers are on well water, he says they should fill up their bathtubs or other large containers with water in case the power goes out, and their water pump doesn’t operate.
“It’s really important to use flashlights rather than candles,” says Myers. “Candles, they’re a top cause of house fires. They don’t provide much illumination, but they do, unfortunately, sometimes burn homes down and endanger people.”
If your electricity goes out, Potomac Edison urges you to call 1-888-LIGHTSS (544-4877), and report it. The utility says don’t assume someone else has already done so.
But Myers also urges customers to be patient. “Sometimes people get very frustrated because they think the repair was as simple as reconnecting the wire to their home, or flipping something out on the transformer outside the house. But what they don’t see is a lot of these circuits are many miles long,” he says. “Their integrated into substations and interconnected with transmission lines. The damage that’s keeping electricity from getting to your house may be something that’s getting fixed miles and miles away.”
While waiting for the electricity to come back on, Potomac Edison strongly urges customers not to touch any downed power lines or utility poles. “They could be energized. They can injure you or worse. They could kill you. Make sure you stay away from those downed lines and wires,” says Myers.
He also says let Potomac Edison crews handled the downed wires and utility poles, and clearing any debris.
You can also call 1-888-LIGHTSS (544-4877) to report downed power lines or utility poles.