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 widespread outages
AUGUSTA, Maine, Dec. 12, 2008,12 noon — Central Maine Power Co. reports that 215,000 customer accounts are without power at mid-day today and that number is likely to continue rising through the day. The damage is most severe in southern and coastal areas from York County to the Penobscot Bay region where well over half the customers have lost power in some counties.
“We will be putting all our efforts today into making sure that downed wires are de-energized to protect the public,” said CMP spokesman John Carroll. “We do not expect to be able to start any restoration work before Saturday, so we urge anyone who is without power this afternoon or loses power over the course of the day to prepare for at least one night without power. By our best estimate right now, this restoration is likely to last well into next week in many areas. We need our customers to understand that they should prepare for several days or more without power.”
CMP has contacted utilities as far away as Michigan for assistance. Utilities in the Canadian Maritimes have also been contacted, but those companies are unable to release their crews because the storm has yet to pass through their region. The company is also coordinating its efforts with the Maine Emergency Management Agency, local emergency management agencies, and the Maine Department of Transportation.
The company urges customers to use caution if they see downed lines.
“Everyone should stay clear of any downed power lines and fallen trees or limbs that may be tangled in the lines,” said Carroll. “These should all be considered live and dangerous. Customers should leave the clean-up to our crews, who are trained and equipped to handle these situations safely. I know we say this over and over, but it’s a simple lesson that could save someone’s life.”
CMP also reminds customer who have generators that they must be installed with the correct protective devices to prevent power from feeding back onto the utility’s wires. This creates an extreme risk to utility workers, emergency personnel, and the public.
Additional information on storm safety and restoration, including a town-by-town listing of outages in the CMP service area with an area map, can be found on CMP’s web site at www.cmpco.com.
Next update, 5 p.m.
— CMP —