Central Maine Power Company, 83 Edison Drive, Augusta, ME 04336 (207) 622-NEWS
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Release: Immediate - An Energy East Company
CMP crews responding to outages
AUGUSTA, Maine, Feb. 13, 2008 — Central Maine Power Company crews are busy this afternoon responding to reports of outages caused by mixed precipitation that has been falling in the utility’s service area today. At 4 p.m., the utility reported an estimated 12,250 customers were without service. Most of the affected customers are in CMP’s Alfred, Bridgton, and Lewiston service areas.
“We were well prepared for this storm, and after a quiet morning, things started to pick up shortly after noontime,” said CMP Spokesman John Carroll. “Ice began to accumulate on tree limbs, many of which already had a coating of snow. These limbs have started dropping onto our power lines and causing outages.”
The damage to CMP’s system runs mainly along a wide path through interior communities in York, Cumberland, Androscoggin, and southern Kennebec Counties. As the freezing rain continues, the damage could be more widespread. Damage is limited in coastal communities, which have been experiencing less icing due to slightly warmer temperatures.
“Crews have been restoring power to customers throughout the day, but as soon as they finish one repair, new damage is reported elsewhere,” says Carroll. “The outage count has been climbing slowly this afternoon, so we’ll keep the crews on this evening and bring in extra personnel.” says Carroll.
CMP continues to urge customers to put safety first should they experience an outage.
“People need to be especially careful if they’re running a generator,” Carroll said. “Then should be installed by a qualified person, and they should never be run in an enclosed space where carbon monoxide could build up.”
The company offers these other tips for staying safe and comfortable:
• When using an emergency heating source, like a wood stove, fireplace, or kerosene heater, keep fuels away from the flames and be sure to ventilate properly.
• Never use grills or camp stoves indoors — they can give off dangerous gases.
• For customers with generators:
o Carefully read and observe all instructions in your generator's owner manual.
o Don't run a generator indoors, even in an open garage.
o Hire a licensed electrician to install permanent generators and transfer switches.
o Make sure portable generators are properly grounded.
o Don't store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it's running.
o Refer to CMP’s web page on generator safety: http://www.cmpco.com/UsageAndSafety/electricalsafety/GeneratorSafety/default.html
While CMP hopes to have service restored to most customers this evening, continued freezing rain is likely to cause additional damage to the power system, and some customers may be without service overnight.
CMP will issue another storm update by 10 p.m. Wednesday evening.
About CMP: Central Maine Power, a subsidiary of Energy East Corporation, operates more than 25,000 miles of power lines and other facilities that deliver electricity to 80 percent of Maine’s population. Web site: www.cmpco.com.
About Energy East: Energy East Corporation is a respected, super-regional energy services and delivery company serving about 3 million customers throughout upstate New York and New England. By providing outstanding customer service and meeting customers’ energy requirements in an environmentally responsible manner, Energy East will continue to be a valuable asset to the communities we serve.
— CMP —