Nearly a week after violent, hurricane-like storms tore through the area, Baltimore Gas and Electric reports that just over 1,000 Howard County customers are still without power, in the midst of a heat wave expected to intensify over the weekend.
Howard County Health Officer Peter Beilenson has issued a heat advisory through Sunday at 8 p.m. Temperatures reached the high 90s Friday, and Saturday the National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 104 degrees in the Baltimore area. Sunday's high temperature is expected to be near 100 degrees.
A cool front, which will lower temperatures into the 80s starting Monday, could produce severe storms Sunday evening.
As of 4:30 p.m. Friday, 1,238 Howard County residences and business were without power, and 66,122 have had their power restored, according to BGE. That number of outages was 1,457 earlier Friday morning.
After six days of repair work, outages had climbed again to as high as 5,500 Thursday afternoon as crews working to repair smaller power lines had to turn off larger connecting systems. Slightly more than 4,100 customers were without power early Thursday evening, and that figure went down to 2,164 by 10:30 p.m.
The county still has cooling centers open throughout the county for person seeking relief from the heat.
In addition, the Columbia Association continues to offer free entry to its 23 outdoor pools for county residents still without power.
The Health Department people stay out of the sun if possible, especially from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., increase fluid intake and wear light-colored, light weight clothing and sunscreen.
The department also advises residents to be wear of symptoms of heat related illness, such as extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, headache, possible vomiting or fainting, dry red skin, convulsions, disorientation and delirium.
Meanwhile, Howard County police are reminding residents of the dangers of leaving children in hot cars.
"It's critical that caregivers know it is never safe to leave a child unattended in a car, especially in hot weather," Police Chief Bill McMahon said in a news release. "We've seen children die this way in Howard County, and we've had some close calls. We are urging people to be aware of this danger."
According to the police department, cars parked in direct sunlight can, within 10 minutes, reach life-threatening internal temperatures from 131 to 172 degrees when temperatures outside are from 80 to 100 degrees. Children under the age of four — those typically in car seats — are among those at greatest risk for heat-related illness and death.
Police offered the following tips to prevent children being left or trapped in cars:
Place something you wouldn't leave your car without near the child safety seat
Teach children not to play in, on or around vehicles
Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even with a window slightly open.
Always lock a vehicle's doors and trunk
Keep keys and remote entry devices out of children's reach