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CNN "State of the Union with Candy Crowley" - Transcript

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CROWLEY: Joining me on the phone is Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley.

Governor, you tell me that about 961,000 customers are without power as a result of the storm, 650,000 now, and some power has been restored. By the end of this day, what are you expecting I assume having talked to the power company?

GOV. MARTIN O'MALLEY (D), MARYLAND (via telephone): Well, I expect continuing progress. There is a lot of untangling of downed limbs and wires and all of that sort of tedious work that has to happen. But overnight, we have been able to cut by one-third the number of people that were without power and we hope to be able to cut that -- we hope by another third within the next 24 hours. We have crews on their way now, Candy, from Florida and from Texas.

But unlike a polite hurricane that gives you three days of warning, this storm gave us all of the impact of a hurricane without any of the warning off a hurricane, so we could not pre-deploy as the utilities often do the mutual aid crews from other states in advance of this wallop.

CROWLEY: Governor, as you know Maryland and the company, Pepco, the electric company that served so many Marylanders has been under fire over the past several years for being, according to one study, like in 2010, one of the worst in terms of comparatives to other big cities in power outages and in restoring that power. How do you think they are doing so far?

O'MALLEY: Well, it is very early in the event, but I do believe they are -- certainly recognized the problem they had, and our Public Service Commission took them to task, fined them, and they are on a path to bring their, you know, preventive maintenance and the tree trimming and all of that up to a par so that the lines are better prepared when the storms come through.

So, so far, what is happening right now is that we are able to restore one-third of the people. And the next few days, though, Candy, are going to be trying and it will challenge all of the utility companies in Maryland to meet the expectations that we have of them. Not to prevent bad storms from happening, but to get us back up with electrical power within a reasonable amount time. These are some hot few days ahead of us and we are going to be supporting the utilities to get us back up as quickly as we can.

CROWLEY: Are you confident in your state, that there are enough resources for those folks either who have not just power outages, but homes destroyed, and the folks who need to get someplace where it is going to be cooler?

O'MALLEY: The -- I do believe that we have a good network here in Maryland that of good county executives Rushern Baker in Prince George's, and Ike Leggett in Montgomery.

I was talking to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in Baltimore, all of those jurisdictions have been opening up cooling centers, many of them are preparing for transportation today as this prolonged heat continues. That's really the population that we are most worried about, the vulnerable people, and particularly the elderly who might not have someone to reach out to, to take the precautions to cool down. So, this would challenge us. This will challenge us, and it will challenge the neighbors of Maryland to act like Marylanders.

CROWLEY: Governor Martin O'Malley, the governor of Maryland -- we wish you luck in the next couple of days and no one more so than I do, because we'd love to have the electricity back. Thanks, Governor.

O'MALLEY: We'll do our best. Thank you, Candy.

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