Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) has restored power to most of the customers in southern Calvert County. Approximately 20,000 customers lost power at about 9 a.m. this morning when a fault occurred on the submarine transmission line that crosses the Patuxent River. As of 8 p.m., less than 500 customers remained without power; SMECO will continue working until power to all accounts has been restored.
SMECO was able to restore power to nearly all customers this afternoon and this evening by re-routing power using a transmission line located in the central part of the county near Prince Frederick. The cold weather made restoration efforts more difficult. When power lines are energized, restoration has to occur in sections to prevent overloading the power line and substation.
Customers are asked to conserve energy during the next day or two as SMECO continues to work on the electrical system. Do not use non-essential appliances; lower your thermostat a few degrees; in the early morning and evening hours, refrain from running washers, dryers, and dishwashers. Turn off non-essential lighting and any appliances or equipment that may increase demand on the system.
Additional outages caused by the cold weather occurred at the Mutual and St. Leonard substations. Those customers have also been restored.
Calvert County emergency management assisted residents by opening warming centers at Calvert High School and the Solomons Volunteer Fire Department for residents without power.
Those customers who may still be without electricity are asked to call SMECOs outage hotline: 1-877-74-SMECO, that is 1-877-747-6326. Customers may also reach SMECOs call center by calling toll-free: 1-888-440-3311.