Central Maine Power Company, 83 Edison Drive, Augusta, ME 04336 (207) 622-NEWS
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Release: Immediate - An Energy East Company
CMP makes progress with outage restoration
AUGUSTA, Maine, Dec. 13, 2008, 9:30 a.m. — Central Maine Power crews hope to make considerable progress today in efforts to restore power to customers left without service following this week’s major ice storm. At 9 a.m. Saturday, an estimated 173,000 customer accounts were without service – that’s down from a peak of 220,000 Friday afternoon.
“On Friday, our efforts were devoted to maintaining public safety by ensuring downed lines were de-energized; addressing problems with transmission lines; restoring service to critical facilities, including nine hospitals; and bringing mutual aid in from out of state,” said CMP spokesperson Gail Rice. “We were able to do all of that, plus restore power to 40,000 customer accounts – that is good progress considering the level of destruction and difficult working conditions.”
Today, CMP expects to complete the damage assessment throughout its service area, continue to integrate mutual-aid crews into its restoration plan, and make considerable progress bringing power back to homes and businesses in its 11,000-square-mmile service area.
“In some areas, power restoration is expected to be nearly complete later this weekend,” said Rice. “And as we finish work in those areas, we’ll be moving more crews to where the damage was most severe – in our southern and coastal areas in York County, Greater Portland, and the Midcoast, where the restoration is expected to extend well into next week.”
Rice said that the utility continues to coordinate its efforts with State agencies, including the Governor’s office, Maine Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Transportation. She added that CMP’s effort has grown in terms of personnel and equipment.
“Right now we have nearly 1,300 people – 935 in the field and another 350 working support roles in our Service Centers and other facilities – and as we bring in more mutual aid, that number will grow,” she said.
The company continues to advise all people to stay away from downed power lines, exercise caution when using alternate heating and cooking equipment, and check on friends and family members who may be vulnerable, particularly the elderly.
“We know from the ice storms of January 1998 that people in Maine do a great job helping one another through crises like this, and we appreciate everyone’s support and patience as we put our system back together,” she said.
Next update: noon.
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 —