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Power crews still on the job in Calvert County

Friday - 9/2/2011, 5:46am  ET

wires and trees down Irene North Beach (WTOP Photo/Michelle Basch)
A crew works to restore power in North Beach. (WTOP Photo/Michelle Basch)
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Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WASHINGTON -- Power crews are still on the job restoring electricity that Hurricane Irene knocked out, and one electric company employee has an urgent message.

"If you see all your neighbors have power and you're without power, definitely call in and alert someone, so we know," says Scott Tydings, a senior construction inspector for BGE, who is working as a crew guide as the company responds to the hurricane outages.

That means in recent days, Tydings has been leading a convoy of BGE workers, BGE contractors and tree crews into a given neighborhood to restore power. They bring all the supplies they may need with them.

WTOP caught up with Tydings as he and his crew worked along 6th and 7th Streets in North Beach in Calvert County, where large trees came down on power lines. The group included workers and trucks from another power company based in Mississippi.

Have you ever wondered why sometimes after an extended outage, your power comes back on and then you lose it again? Tydings says it happens because crews like his sometimes have to turn off power for safety reasons to work on a given problem.

He explained this as he prepared to turn off power temporarily to about 60 customers in North Beach Thursday afternoon.

"You can see the light on in this house. Power is on right now. It's working. And it's a dangerous situation. We're trying to rectify those dangerous situations one piece at a time."

Another common misconception by customers, he says, is that crews on your street that are just standing around and aren't really working.

"Why are they not doing anything? Well, there may be one crew in a bucket, where the power is being fed from [some distance away] getting set up to turn the power off, so we can go to work. We can do the work that we need to do."

Torey Harvey lives in the neighborhood where the BGE crew was working. He's been without power since Saturday, and was glad to see the big white trucks arrive to finally restore it.

Harvey has an 8-month-old son, and says life without power has been rough.

"At night it's hot, it gets warm in the house. And it's hard with the milk. We have to heat up our milk and stuff like that," he says.

Nearby, resident Ryan McKenna was standing outside when two lights in the front of his house came back on for the first time since Saturday.

"We're (on) well water, so without power we have no running water, you can't use the bathroom, can't have a shower, can't have any of that stuff. So when electricity is out, everything is out with us," says McKenna.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)