Central Maine Power Company, 83 Edison Drive, Augusta, ME 04336
Contact: John Carroll firstname.lastname@example.org
Heavy snow and high winds cut power to more than 145,000; CMP anticipates multi-day restoration effort
AUGUSTA, Maine, October 30, 2011, 11:30 a.m. — Heavy, wet snow and strong winds have left more than 130,000 homes and businesses without power as of noon Sunday. Central Maine Power Company (CMP) is reporting outages throughout its service area, with the heaviest damage in Cumberland, York, Kennebec, Lincoln, and Androscoggin Counties.
“Crews worked through the night to de-energize downed lines and maintain service to critical facilities such as hospitals and public safety buildings,” said John Carroll, spokesperson for Central Maine Power. “We brought on extra resources from private contractors and utilities in Canada, so we started the day with 180 line crews, 150 tree crews, and all of our support staff in place. Based on our assessment of the damage so far, we know that it will be several days before we can restore power to everyone.”
Reports of outages began shortly after midnight Sunday and the number of accounts without power reached a peak of almost 145,000 around 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Crews will continue assessing the damage and making repairs throughout the day.
“We expect to make good progress, today, but it will call for extra caution this evening as trick-or-treaters take to the streets,” said Carroll. “Many streets will still be darker than normal, and there may be damaged utility equipment on the ground or hanging below normal heights. Our crews have been reminded to use extra caution as they work in the streets. We also hope parents and drivers will take special care to stay clear of our crews and keep youngsters safe.”
The utility is coordinating its storm-response efforts with the Maine Emergency Management agency and the Governor’s office.
Outages by county as of 11:30 a.m.:
York: 37,262 33%
Cumberland: 29,958 20%
Kennebec : 15,943 23%
Lincoln: 13,913 53%
Androscoggin: 12,772 24%
Sagadahoc: 6,455 32%
Oxford: 3,868 10%
Somerset : 3,206 11%
Knox: 2,812 11%
Franklin : 2,492 11%
Waldo: 1,497 6%
Penobscot : 441 3%
Piscataquis: 327 3%
Hancock: 38 1%
Total: 130,984 22%
CMP urges customers to report outages to the toll-free outage hotline: 1-800-696-1000.
The company urges customers to use caution if they see downed lines.
“Everyone should stay clear of any downed power lines or fallen trees that may be tangled in the lines,” said Carroll. “These lines should be considered live and dangerous. Customers should leave the clean-up to our crews, who are trained and equipped to handle these situations safely.”
CMP also reminds drivers to use caution when approaching utility crews on slippery roads or in blowing snow. The working conditions are difficult, and the workers appreciate everyone’s consideration for their safety.
Customers using generators are urged to follow all instructions in the equipment’s owners manual. Generators should never be run indoors, or even in an open garage. For more information on safe generator operation, refer to CMP’s web page on generator safety: http://www.cmpco.com/UsageAndSafety/electricalsafety/GeneratorSafety/default.html.
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 CMP and Iberdrola USA: CMP, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, is Maine’s largest electricity transmission and distribution company, serving more than 600,000 customers. The company has been ranked #1 in customer satisfaction four times by J.D. Power and Associates. Iberdrola USA, a subsidiary of global energy leader Iberdrola, S.A., is an energy services and delivery company with more than 2.4 million customers in upstate New York and New England. We are a team of dedicated individuals working as one to deliver value to our customers, employees and shareholders. By providing outstanding customer service and exceptional reliability, while holding safety and the environment in high regard, we aspire to be a world-class energy company.
For more information, visit www.cmpco.com and www.iberdrolausa.com.