8:15 AM EDT, July 5, 2012
In this morning's paper there was an article entitled "Baltimore grocers, restaurants cope with power outage losses" (July 2), on the economic impact Friday night's storm had on area businesses. After a major storm, The Baltimore Sun and local television news outlets inevitably have stories on the financial burden the storm has to the state, BGE and local businesses. You never carry stories about the financial burden the storm has on the citizens who lose electricity for an extended period of time.
I have not had electricity since Friday evening. This is day four without electricity. This storm had been an immense financial burden to my family. I had to throw out over $150 of food in my refrigerator due to the lack of electricity. When my electric is finally restored, I will need to spend at least $100 to restock my refrigerator. Since I am unable to store food or cook food with my electric stove, my family needs to go out to eat at least twice a day. So, we are spending approximately $50 a day for meals. This is my fourth day without electricity, so my total for meals is around $200.
We have also been going to the store daily for ice for our cooler, so we can at least have cold drinks at home. The cost for each bag of ice is $3; the total for four days is $12. A trip to the laundromat to do a load of laundry resulted in an additional $10. Add to this the additional gas cost of driving to places such as the mall or a relative's house in order to escape the heat. When all is said and done, this storm and the lack of electricity will cost my family at least $500.
I was fortunate not to have property damage due to the storm. So for many Marylanders they also have the additional cost of removing a fallen tree in their yard or repairing their homes.
Unlike the State of Maryland, I cannot declare a "State of Emergency" and ask the federal government for financial help to cover the cost of storm damage. Unlike BGE or area businesses, I cannot raise prices or fees to cover the cost of storm damage. The money I spent on this storm comes out of my savings account. Money I was saving to purchase a new hot water heater. Money I was saving for a vacation. These things will be delayed due to the unexpected financial burden my family experienced with being without electricity for 4 days.
This is the story you should be covering. The financial burden for thousands of Marylanders who did not have electricity for an extended period of time.
Carolyn Dickerson, Forest Hill
Copyright © 2013, The Baltimore Sun