As of 4 p.m., about 238,000 people in the Washington-Baltimore area lacked power — and in a turn-around from many past storms, the District and its Maryland suburbs were faring far better than other areas.
About 65,000 Dominion Virginia Power customers remained without electricity Tuesday afternoon, or about 8 percent of homes and businesses. Outages there had peaked at about 140,000 at midnight Monday.
Outages for Baltimore Gas & Electric stood at 149,000 on Tuesday afternoon, about 12 percent of its customers. That was down from a peak of 217,000 homes and businesses without electricity from Monday evening.
BGE executives said they expected new outages to occur over the next few days as trees and tree limbs weakened by the storm continued to fall on power lines.
Pepco announced that it expected to have the lights back on for the “vast majority” of its 12,000 affected customers by 8 a.m. Wednesday, and that it would achieve full restoration by late Wednesday. Pepco outages peaked late Monday at about 44,000.
“The remaining damage to the system is relatively localized, with a lot of individual outages,” said Pepco regional President Thomas H. Graham. Company executives said they experienced about 10 times more outages after the June 29 derecho storms.
With most area power outages concentrated in Northern Virginia, residents of Bethesda, Rockville and other jurisdictions that historically have experienced long power outages exulted at their relative good fortune.
“It’s kind of a vacation for me,” said Debra Cameron of North Bethesda, who, based on the forecast and her experience in past storms, had prepared for a prolonged period without electricity.
Her lights never flickered, however. And her work was canceled for the day, which left her with free time and no real storm fallout to contend with.
Repair crews in some areas began restoring power as soon as it was safe to work outside again. In Ocean City, Md., where the pier was shorn in two Monday, maintenance crews braved a cold, blustery wind and began to clear streets and the town’s iconic boardwalk. Nearly 10 inches of rain deluged the town, which was also battered by hurricane-force gusts that ripped signs off posts, tore heavy metal benches off their perches and scattered sand and debris far from the beach. No major injuries were reported.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge, which closed Monday afternoon because of dangerously high winds, reopened at 9 a.m. The Maryland Transportation Authority said the 18-hour closure was the longest weather-related shutdown since the nearly 400-foot-tall bridge was built in 1952. Wind gusts topped out at 90 mph, and the highest sustained wind was 74 mph, said Kelly Melhem, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Transportation Authority.