Power still out for thousands six days after violent thunderstorm June 29

Crews from BGE with help from workers from TECO of Tampa, Fla., were in Stoneleigh Thursday, July 5, after the June 29 violent thunderstorm that knocked out power for thousands in the area. Downed trees on Stoneleigh Road cut power to residents in Stoneleigh, who have been without electricity for six days. (Staff photo by Elizabeth Eck / July 5, 2012)

As pockets of Towson endured a sixth day of stifling heat and no power, patience began to wane for BGE customers who still didn't know when their power would be turned back on.

"We keep hoping, but I think we're going to leave in the morning," Kati Bell of Stoneleigh said. "A large percentage of neighbors have just fled."

Bell and her husband, Bill, returned from 10 days in the Virgin Islands on Saturday to find the neighborhood without power, and should the lights not come on Friday morning, planned to head north to Connecticut for the weekend.

Still, Kati Bell said they're making the best of it. She and her husband are able to sleep in the basement, and Thursday evening, they planned to go visit a friend in Phoenix who had a pool.

Bill Bell, recognizing that the wires behind his house were dead, took the opportunity to trim his trees back from the power lines as well.

Kati Bell said the wait for power would be more bearable if the nearby Stoneleigh pool had power.

"If you can go get in the pool, you're OK," she said. "But not this summer."

On the other side of York Road, residents in Campus Hills also wondered when their power would be on.

Ed Rosenfeld went to stay with a niece in Washington, D.C. for a few days, and kept calling BGE's automated number to find out when his power would be back, but the time always kept being pushed back.

"Now, they're saying as soon as possible," he said. "They should have just said it would be a week."

Rosenfeld's side of Dixie Drive is still without power, but across the street, his neighbor's lights are on. Extension cords run from outdoor sockets on one side of the road to homes on the other, though like in Stoneleigh, some of his Rosenfeld's neighbords have fled as well.

There is progress, however. A crew from Tampa, Fla. worked on the corner of York Road and Stoneleigh Road for the entire day, and around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, house alarms began sounding throughout the neighborhood — a signal of the crew's small victory for the day.

Deeper in the neighborhood, crews were in a backyard off Pemberton Road in Stoneleigh working on a pole and transformer, which they hoped to have up and running by that night.

Across the street from Nate Collamer's house on Petworth Road in Stoneleigh, a neighbor's alarm alerted him that power had been restored somewhere in the neighborhood—but not his house.

"I was really excited when I heard the alarm go off, but it'll be another couple days I guess," Collamer said.

He and his family just returned from a trip north to watch fireworks at Penn State, but while they've been home, they've slept on army cots on the back porch and bought lots of ice.

Collamer said he understands what the holdup is.

"I'm not frustrated at all," he said. "It's just a big job for them."

As of 5:31 p.m. Thursday, 19,542 Baltimore County residents were still without power, with the most heavily affected areas still in Towson.

Councilman David Marks, who represents the 5th District including Towson, said he's been in constant contact with BGE, relaying each individual road without power to the utility company.

"I'm at a point where I'm practically begging them to fix these roads," Marks said. "I'm trying my best to get crews out there."