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News Alert
Most of Maryland Under Severe Thunderstorm Watch

O'Malley Issues State of Emergency Order

Governor has authority to call out Maryland National Guard if necessary.

UDATED 6:51 PM

Gov. Martin O'Malley Saturday issued a state of emergency for Maryland because of severe thunderstorms, high temperatures and the long period of time it's expected to take to fully recover from the double blow of weather disasters.

The declaration will give the state flexibility to activate the Maryland National Guard and provide assistance to local emergency managers, if necessary.         

O'Malley said President Obama called him Saturday from Camp David, near Thurmont, to check in following Friday’s storms, a local CBS affiliate reported.

The declaration said that more than 840,000 homes were without electricity and it could take up to seven days to fully restore power. It said more than 74 cooling stations have been opened across Maryland.

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UPDATED (4:01 p.m.)—Gov. Martin O'Malley said Saturday he plans to declare a state of emergency in Maryland because of severe storms that passed through Maryland Friday night and early Saturday morning.

O'Malley declined to offer specifics.

"The answer is 'yes,'" O'Malley said in response to questions from Patch. "The declaration, the paperwork, it's already been worked up."

The governor said he planned to release details later in the evening.

Governors in Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia have already made similar declarations in their respective states.

Meanwhile, BGE and PEPCO officials are telling customers to prepare for power restoration work to continue well into next week.

Rob Gould, a spokesman for BGE, said help was coming in from Tennessee, Philadelphia, Mississippi and Florida.

A PEPCO spokeswoman said additional crews were coming to assist its power restoration efforts from as far away as Texas.

Both said it could be at least seven days before restoration efforts were completed.

"What we are really finding here is damage of the magnitude of a hurricane," Gould said, adding that efforts could be hampered by storms expected to hit the area late Saturday afternoon and into the evening.

State emergency management officials compared the storms Friday night to Hurricane Irene, which struck the area last fall.

Part of the power issue stems from downed large transmission lines in western Maryland, state officials said.

State health officials are asking residents who are not suffering from physical injuries or illness to not go to hospital emergency rooms to get out of the heat. Instead, officials asked that they go to any of the 58 cooling centers located around the state.

Stay with Patch for updates

Robert McArtor, RE/MAX Components October 30, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Just called Home Depot to find out when their next shipment is for generators. They said their trucks will not travel the roads because we are in a State of Emergency... :(
PerryHallParent October 30, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Other stores, like Pep Boys, Pete's Cycle and other small businesses had plenty of generators in stock Sunday. I found some for family members and picked one up for myself. I didn't even bother calling the big box places; they always go out first.
1ke October 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM
I get such a charge out of the bellyaching I am reading here. Backbiting. Hatefulness. Blaming. Fact is that most folks pay less than $10 a day for electricity. Oh, please hate me because I pay less than $6. And for that you get to pile your clothes in a washer, watch crap on TV, type insipid things online, go shopping only once a week, stay cool in an ungodly climate in an ill-designed but affordable house. Go without it for 3 days and OMG and you are so, so taken advantage of, cheated, played for the fool... You all kill me.
Joe October 30, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Looks like we dodged a 50 cal bullet!
Joe October 30, 2012 at 12:59 PM
"government picks up the tab" And the government gets their money from WHO? How can anyone in this day of information overload think that the government has its own money to "pick up the tab"?

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