Central Maine Power Company, 83 Edison Drive, Augusta, ME 04336 (207) 622-NEWS
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Heavy snow causes scattered outages, CMP ready for more snow and wind
AUGUSTA, Maine, Feb. 25, 2010 — Crews from Central Maine Power Company (CMP) spent much of Thursday restoring power to customers in Franklin, Somerset, and Oxford Counties who lost service after up to a foot of heavy wet snow fell in the western mountains and foothills. The utility is getting ready for more snow, rain, and high winds Thursday night into Friday. Utility trucks are fueled and equipped, and key CMP personnel participated in a conference call Thursday afternoon to discuss staffing levels and finalize storm-response plans.
“Most of the damage we’ve seen today has been in the western mountains and foothills, where heavy, wet snow coated tree limbs and branches and brought them down onto power lines,” said CMP spokesman John Carroll. “The additional snow and high winds forecast for tonight could cause new outages. We’ve positioned crews throughout our service area, and they’ll be ready to roll should this storm cause more problems.”
At 4 p.m. Thursday, an estimated 3,800 CMP homes and businesses were without power. The problems were mainly in Franklin, Lincoln, Kennebec, Oxford, and Somerset Counties.
If outages occur, CMP urges customers to call the toll-free outage hotline: 1-800-696-1000.
CMP offers customers the following tips to stay safe and comfortable if power outages do occur.
* Keep battery-operated flashlights and radios on hand, along with supplies of drinking water and non-perishable foods.
* When you use 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
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 drivers to use caution when approaching utility crews in the roadway. The working conditions are difficult, and they will appreciate everyone’s consideration for their safety.
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.
About Central Maine Power Company (CMP): Central Maine Power Company, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, is Maine’s largest electricity transmission and distribution utility. The company delivers about 9 billion kilowatt hours annually to more than 600,000 homes and businesses, accounting for nearly 80 percent of electricity delivery in Maine. CMP has been ranked #1 in customer satisfaction three times by J.D. Power and Associates. For more information, visit www.cmpco.com.
— CMP —