Power in Laurel is slowly returning to homes and businesses left dark by a batch of .
Baltimore Gas and Electric estimated more than 10,000 customers throughout the Laurel area were left without power over the weekend. Large swaths of residences and businesses along Route 198, Route 197, and Route 1 were hard hit Friday night as strong winds, rain and thunder wreaked havoc in the region.
The City of Laurel opened cooling centers and used patrol officers to do sweeps of traffic intersections and respond to emergency calls, said Careen Koubek, a spokesperson for the city.
On Monday, Mayor Craig Moe declared a state of emergency for the city, following Gov. Martin O’Malley, over the weekend. According to a press release, the city encountered serious and wide spread damage from downed trees, downed electrical lines and loss of electric service to large areas.
Other parts of the Laurel area didn't fare much better.
David Overton, who lives in an apartment complex off of Route 197 in South Laurel, had left his home shortly after the power went out in his complex on Friday.
“I have been living out of my car the past few days,” he said. “Unfortunately, I suffered a heart attack about a year ago and being in extreme heat can be very unhealthy for someone in my condition.”
Robert Crawford said he left him home in Russett on Saturday after the community was left without power. Most hotels and restaurants were overwhelmed with people so he headed north along Route 1 finding a truck stop near Jessup to rent a room, he said.
By midday Monday, residents without power continued searching for open businesses and hotels.
Along Route 1 at the , a sign hung on the store said, “No Power.” Further north on Route 1, a line stretched to the door at the , with customers snatching up tables and plugging electrical devices into outlets. A manager at the store said the flow of customers had be “non-stop” all day.
Today, BG&E said it restored power to about 450,000 customers, roughly two-thirds of the total who lost power.
“More out-of-state crews have arrived today, and with their assistance, we continue to work round-the-clock restoring power to our customers,” said Jeannette M. Mills, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE, in a statement. “We have provided information on some of the areas where crews will be working today on our website, bge.com. If customers do not see their areas listed, please know that it is not an inclusive list."
Still, power outages persist.
Residents in West Laurel are still reporting outages. And City of Laurel residents along Van Dusen Road are still without power in certain areas. City of Laurel residents can to see a localized outage list.