Hurricane Sandy Recovery Update

I hope that you and your family remained safe during the recent historic storm. I also wanted to share information regarding Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath and provide you with helpful emergency and recovery contacts.



                                                                (Rep. Andy Harris and State Senator Jim Mathias touring the town of Crisfield, MD)

Yesterday, I toured Crisfield and Ocean City with Governor O'Malley and a number of local officials. Maryland’s southernmost town, Crisfield was hit hard by super storm Sandy. Residents of Crisfield on the Tangier Sound say they haven’t seen flooding like this since Hurricane Gloria in 1985. Throughout the 1st Congressional District from Crisfield to Cockeysville, many of our neighbors have either been victims of or witness to extraordinary flooding, high rainfall or storm surge. Many residents also lost and may still be without power.

(Flooding throughout Maryland's 1st Congressional District, above is a picture from Federalsburg MD)

Governor O’Malley declared a State of Emergency in Maryland on Friday. I supported the Maryland Delegation’s efforts to encourage the administration to approve the pre-storm declaration and make Maryland eligible for Federal Disaster assistance for this storm.

BGE has brought in power crews from as far as New Mexico to Florida, to Michigan to assist crews in Maryland to help restore power to the near 300,000 people who have lost power due to Hurricane Sandy. As of this morning BGE has restored nearly 70% of all power outages in Maryland.

If you are experiencing an outage, customers should report outages and downed wires by calling 1-877-778-2222 - but BGE asks that you should only report your outage once. Crews will respond as soon as they can.

Choptank Electric Cooperative cleared all outages caused by Hurricane Sandy as of 10 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, according to President and CEO Mike Wheatley. The co-op’s nine-county territory had seen a peak of about 15,000 outages due to Hurricane Sandy.

If you are a Choptank customer and do experience an outage, please call Choptank's automated outage reporting system toll free, 800-410-4790

Delmarva Power has restored electric service to the vast majority of customers who lost power as a result of Hurricane Sandy. At the peak of the storm, more than 71,000 customers were out of service. As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, just over 8,600 customers in Delaware and Maryland had yet to be restored. The utility is making major progress in bringing the restoration effort to a conclusion

If you experience an outage or see a downed or damaged power line, customers are asked to report it at or call Delmarva Power: Cecil and Harford counties: 1-800-898-8042; Eastern Shore: 1-800-898-8045.

The American Red Cross Delmarva Region supported 25 shelters, housing 1,878 people during the peak of the storm on Monday night. In addition, a total of 10,678 meals and snacks were served from Sunday afternoon through Tuesday. The Red Cross response efforts are ongoing as damage assessment from the storm begins. Red Cross disaster relief work will continue to support our friends and neighbors who may be unable to return home as well as hand out clean up kits for those who are allowed to return home.

If you experienced flooding, please visit this website:

Maryland Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance also released a statement that, "any farmer who experienced damage or losses to buildings or livestock due to flooding, rain, or wind should contact their local extension agent to report."

County governments have issued the following tips for residents:

  • Don’t drive through flooded streets.
  • Don’t touch downed lines.
  • If people choose to remain in their homes, please use extreme caution with alternative sources of heat – use only devices that are intended for indoor use and use the device according to manufacturers’ instructions.

Generator use is a frequent cause of after-storm tragedies. Incorrect use can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution and fire. Always follow the directions supplied with the generator and:

· Never use a portable generator indoors

· Never use a portable generator in a garage, carport, basement, crawl space or other enclosed or partially-enclosed area, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent CO buildup in the home.

· If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air right away — do not delay!

· Install home CO alarms that are battery-operated or have battery back-up. Test batteries frequently and replace when needed.

· Place the generator away from windows, doors, and vents that could allow CO to come indoors.

· Generators should be at least 15 feet away from buildings. Even 15 feet away, air flow patterns could still blow carbon monoxide into homes through attic vents, windows, or doors, so it's very important to have a working carbon monoxide detector inside the home.

· To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry. Do not use in rain or wet conditions. Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure. Make sure your hands are dry before touching the generator.

If I can be of service or if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please email or call me. Be sure to stay safe and warm as we recover together from this storm.


Andy Harris, M.D.
Member of Congress