Towson cleaning up, helping out as thousands remain without power

Two days after a brief but powerful storm tore through the Towson area, residents both with and without power were still cleaning up the mess and pondering the consequences of the storm's long-term effects.

Walter McGuire just moved to Stoneleigh from the Lake Roland area and as such, is used to summer storms knocking out power for days at a time.

But now that he's enduring his first loss in Stoneleigh, McGuire is learning that the neighborhood is well equipped for this type of thing.

"If you're going to be stuck, you want to be stuck in Stoneleigh," he said.

McGuire said the whole neighborhood has been without power since Friday evening's storms, and that BGE officials who were out Saturday appraising the damage caused by a pair of trees that fell on the corner of York Road and Stoneleigh Road told him it could be anywhere from two days to a week.

But in the interim, he said the neighbors have come together to help one another.

McGuire was getting power from one neighbor's generator until that man took his four daughters down to Millersville to stay cool, and a neighbor behind his house with a generator of his own allowed McGuire bring the contents of his freezer over to save the food.

Late Sunday afternoon, another neighbor turned on his new generator and allowed McGuire to hook up to power his refrigerator and sump pump.

McGuire said others are going door-to-door making sure everyone has the supplies they need, and the neighborhood is frequently checking in on an elderly neighbor.

"We're all just doing what we can," he said.

Across York Road, Rodgers Forge resident Stephen Chess had power, but was using energy of his own to clear the sidewalk in front of his house of a fallen tree limb.

Chess said he and his neighbors maintain the trees, getting them trimmed twice a year, but the neighbors whose house the limb fell in front of are out of town.

"We were in the house when it came down," Chess said while taking a break from slicing through the limb with a hand saw. "We didn't hear it, the wind was too loud."

Across the street at Dumbarton Middle School, Chess pointed to the wooden carnage from a downed limb that he said stretched across Dumbarton Road Saturday morning.

"It was bad the morning after," he said.

BGE reported as of 6 p.m. Sunday that it had restored power to 112,432 customers in Baltimore County that had lost power as a result of the Friday night storms — but still had another 75,492 customers with outages.

Towson remained one of the area's most severely hit areas. BGE's online outage map showed large pockets of outages near the city/county line.

Meanwhile, county officials continued to be concerned about heat, particularly for those who don't have power.

The county's emergency management office said that seniors centers in Essex (600 Dorsey Avenue, Essex), Liberty (3525 Resource Drive, Randallstown) and Bykota (611 Central Avenue, Towson) would be serving as cooling centers until 11 p.m. on Sunday.

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