25,800+ SMECO Customers Lost Electricity Due to Snow

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) has restored service to those customers who reported power outages as a result of the snow storm that affected the mid-Atlantic and New England states this weekend. Snow began falling on Saturday afternoon in SMECO’s service area and power outages began about midnight; as the snow continued through Sunday, more than 25,800 customers were affected by power outages.

The heavy snow and ice caused limbs and trees to break and fall onto power lines. In several cases, an entire feeder--serving up to 1,000 customers--was affected. The feeders, which are the main lines leaving a substation and serving the greater number of customers, were generally restored to service within an hour or two. After repairing feeders, crews make repairs to tap lines, which serve smaller numbers of customers. Incidents involving tap lines were widely scattered throughout the service area.

“The heavily wooded areas of Charles and Prince George’s counties were the most dramatically affected,” explained Joe Slater, SMECO’s president and chief executive officer. “We really appreciate the patience our customer-members demonstrated during this situation. We know how an outage can disrupt a family’s normal routine.”

All of the 5,000 customers in St. Mary’s County who experienced outages had their power restored by Sunday night, as did the 3,400 customers in Calvert County. On Monday, nearly all of SMECO’s crews were assigned to the Charles-Prince George’s region to restore power to customers there. Approximately 11,000 customers in Charles County and 6,400 customers in Prince George’s County experienced outages over the weekend. With the exception of some unique situations, all of those customers had service restored by Monday night. SMECO had 23 line crews, 17 service crews, and two tree and brush crews working, as well as 17 contractor crews.

In St. Mary’s County, the heavy snow and ice caused the anchor rod of a transmission pole to be pulled out of the ground, resulting in a sagging line which affected service to three substations. Many of those customers had power restored within 20 minutes; all had power restored within an hour.

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