Neighborhood Power Outage: 'No Chance to Escape'
One resident said his heavily-wooded area is prone to outages.
If the power is out anywhere in Ellicott City, it’s out in the Mount Hebron neighborhood.
That’s what Xiaojun Jie said as he raked debris from two storms off of his front lawn.
“First thing is keep the kids safe,” he said, “Then I have to clean up ... it's like a war zone.”
Jie, who has been without power for three days and counting, has two kids -- a 4-year-old and a toddler almost 3.
“We had to hold them in the bed with us last night, they were so scared,” he said Monday morning.
A storm Sunday, after the Friday night storm that knocked power out to more than 40,000 people in Howard County, didn’t boost his optimism that power would be restored anytime soon.
Jie said that BGE told him that power might not be restored until this weekend. As of Monday afternoon, BGE reported about 17,653 Howard County residents are still without electricity.
Trees in the heavily wooded area have knocked out power many times before, he said, and a utility pole across the street has been struck by lightning. Twice. “It was on fire,” Jie said, “But we didn’t lose power then.”
Even with the power out, Jie said, there’s still a possibility that more can go wrong. “We have to prepare for the worst,” he said, meaning his sump pump battery could die, flooding his property.
“That’s my worst nightmare,” he said. For now, however, he said his biggest concern is keeping his kids safe. They are in school during the day, but the house is too hot to stay in at night.
He has been staying with friends, he said, but they have family coming to visit tomorrow. “If I don’t get power, I’ll have to move again,” he said, and find another place to sleep for the night.
Jie said he is considering moving – not because of the power outages, just to have more space as his family grows. But if he doesn’t move, he said he will need to buy a generator.
“Every time there’s a weather event and people lose power,” he said, “We are those people.
“There’s no chance to escape.”
This article has been edited to clarify Jie was worried his sump pump might fail.