Tens of thousands of Mainers to remain without power into weekend

A storm that brought heavy, wet snow to much of Maine left tens of thousands of people without power Friday.As of 8:30 p.m. Friday, about 179,000 customers were without power, according to Central Maine Power. Kennebec County was hardest hit. Numbers had climbed to more than 204,000 early Friday morning and continued to fluctuate. CMP said it would likely be a couple of days before everyone gets power back.“We knew a couple of days ago that the heavy wet snow and the coastal winds could cause large numbers of outages across the state and knowing that Mainers are under a shelter in place order we began spreading the message to our customers that they should be prepared to be without power for a lengthy period,” said Doug Herling, president and CEO of CMP. “In light of the pandemic we are making sure all medical and critical care facilities have power and we will work as quickly and safely as we can to restore power for all.”In addition to internal crews, CMP has over 230 contracted line crews and crews from sister companies as well as 150 tree crews assisting in the clearing and restoration effort and is expecting more crews to join the restoration work later Friday.Many roads across the area were closed due to downed trees and power lines. The Maine Emergency Management Agency said Friday that the storm knocked out power to a third of the state. “Given the pandemic that we are already dealing with, we recognize how important it is to get primary power restored to our hospitals, healthcare facilities, and food-distribution facilities, many of which are running on back-up sources of power,” said MEMA Director Peter Rogers. “We also understand that many Mainers are observing the state’s stay-at-home order, making electricity and telecommunications needs even more necessary.”Rogers said MEMA is working with electric utilities get help from other states to help speed up the power restoration process. He said the State Emergency Operations Center is operating and responding to the needs of counties dealing with the storm as well as the coronavirus outbreak. “Given the widespread nature of the damage, we expect this to be a multi-day power restoration effort,” said Rogers. “We know this is a difficult time for Mainers and we ask for patience as we work through this challenging event.”CMP said that in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the state, the company is limiting on employees in each vehicle, and employees are working in separate teams to minimize contact.CMP said workers have been told to maintain appropriate physical distance in the field and to only enter homes in the event of an emergency.The company also asked Mainers not to approach line crews.

A storm that brought heavy, wet snow to much of Maine left tens of thousands of people without power Friday.

As of 8:30 p.m. Friday, about 179,000 customers were without power, according to Central Maine Power.

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Kennebec County was hardest hit. Numbers had climbed to more than 204,000 early Friday morning and continued to fluctuate.

CMP said it would likely be a couple of days before everyone gets power back.

“We knew a couple of days ago that the heavy wet snow and the coastal winds could cause large numbers of outages across the state and knowing that Mainers are under a shelter in place order we began spreading the message to our customers that they should be prepared to be without power for a lengthy period,” said Doug Herling, president and CEO of CMP. “In light of the pandemic we are making sure all medical and critical care facilities have power and we will work as quickly and safely as we can to restore power for all.”

In addition to internal crews, CMP has over 230 contracted line crews and crews from sister companies as well as 150 tree crews assisting in the clearing and restoration effort and is expecting more crews to join the restoration work later Friday.

Many roads across the area were closed due to downed trees and power lines.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency said Friday that the storm knocked out power to a third of the state.

“Given the pandemic that we are already dealing with, we recognize how important it is to get primary power restored to our hospitals, healthcare facilities, and food-distribution facilities, many of which are running on back-up sources of power,” said MEMA Director Peter Rogers. “We also understand that many Mainers are observing the state’s stay-at-home order, making electricity and telecommunications needs even more necessary.”

Rogers said MEMA is working with electric utilities get help from other states to help speed up the power restoration process.

He said the State Emergency Operations Center is operating and responding to the needs of counties dealing with the storm as well as the coronavirus outbreak.

“Given the widespread nature of the damage, we expect this to be a multi-day power restoration effort,” said Rogers. “We know this is a difficult time for Mainers and we ask for patience as we work through this challenging event.”

CMP said that in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the state, the company is limiting on employees in each vehicle, and employees are working in separate teams to minimize contact.

CMP said workers have been told to maintain appropriate physical distance in the field and to only enter homes in the event of an emergency.

The company also asked Mainers not to approach line crews.