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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 continue repair work following ice storm

AUGUSTA, Maine, Dec. 12, 2008, 5 p.m. — Central Maine Power Co. reports that the number of customer outages had started to decrease from its peak of 220,000 customer accounts from mid-afternoon Friday. Utility crews have been putting most of today’s efforts into making sure downed wires were de-energized to protect the public.

“Public safety remains our top priority, and with so much damage to our system, it has been a painstaking process to ensure that downed lines no longer pose a danger,” said CMP spokesman John Carroll. “As always, the restoration process begins with the circuits serving critical facilities like hospitals, then we move from the core of our system -- transmission lines and substations -- and work our way out to the distribution system.”

Carroll adds that with downed lines made safe, and service to hospitals stabilized, CMP is ready to move forward with power restoration.
“We are now getting to the point where we can move ahead with assessment and restoration to some of our more populous circuits, but we have a lot of work ahead of us,” he continued. “So we urge anyone who is without power now to prepare for at least one night without service. By our best estimate right now, this restoration is likely to last well into next week in many areas, so customers should prepare for several days or more without power.”

CMP has begun to make progress getting crews from out-of-state and the Canadian Maritimes to Maine to assist CMP crews. Many New England utilities have been unable to release their crews because of storm damage in their local areas. CMP continues to coordinate its efforts with the Maine Emergency Management Agency, local emergency management agencies, and the Maine Department of Transportation.

Following is a list of outages by Service Center. Each Service Center includes the city or town listed, along with a dozen or more surrounding communities:

Alfred: 83,800
Augusta: 7,000
Fairfield: 4,200
Bridgton: 4,100
Lewiston: 2,800
Brunswick: 41,500
Dover: 2,000
Skowhegan: 2,375
Farmington: 290
Rockland/Belfast: 9,400
Portland: 48,100
Total: 205,565

CMP continues to urge customers to use caution around downed lines.

“Everyone should still 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. And if someone using a generator sees utility trucks in their neighborhood, the generator should be turned off to prevent backfeed that can pose a serious threat to line crews.

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 Customers needing information on shelters should call 211 or go to

Next update: 9 p.m.

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:
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.