Large parts of western Maryland and scattered areas in western Virginia were without power yesterday, a result of two days of ice storms that knocked down electric lines over a wide area.
A Potomac Edison spokesman said last night that power would not be restored in the affected Maryland areas before today or tomorrow.
Power went out early yesterday morning in rural, mountainous Garrett County, in for western Maryland, leaving about 20,000 customers without electricity, heat or water, according to Potomac Eidson spokesman Wayne Miller. A four- to six-inch coating of ice was making the roads impassable and delaying the work of the 20 extra power crews brought in to help restore electricity, Miller said.
"Conditions are getting worse rather than better," said Miller, citing the freezing weather conditions.
"It is imposible. Both the local radio stations are off the air, so I had to get my son-in-law in Annapolis to read me the local weather news," said Phoebe Goodwin, comanager of the Sky Valley resort in Garrett County. The power shortage had emptied about 20 cottages of visiting weekendders from Washington D.C., who "wanted to get out while they could," she said.State police in Oakland reported that the ice had not caused any serious injuries or accidents.
It was the same story in the western half of Virginia. Police in Fredericksburg, 32 miles south of Washington, said that large portions of the city were without power Saturday night. To the south, in Spotsylvania and Stafford counties, local sheriffs reported that trees topheavy with ice were breaking and toppling over onto power line, causing some power poles to catch fire.Power was restored in most areas, except Fredericksburg, by last night, Vepco spokesman David Strole said.
In certain affected areas, local citizens who claim to be inured to icecaused power shortages, such as Jim La Rue of Sky Valley in Garrett County, said the biggest problem was missing the Super Bowl.
When LaRue was not busy trucking in water from a neighboring well or feeding his fireplace yesterday, he was watching the game on the TV set of a friend, who had an auxiliary generator.
"The freezing temperatures are no problem, we are used to that, but I didn't want to miss the kickoff," LaRue said, and then went back to the game.