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Central Maine Power Company, 83 Edison Drive, Augusta, ME 04336 (207) 622-NEWS 

Corporate Communications - corpcomm@cmpco.com 

Release: Immediate  

 

CMP Crews Contend With Hazardous Conditions in Ice Storm Recovery

 

AUGUSTA, Maine, December 24, 2013, 7 p.m. — Central Maine Power Company (CMP), a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, reports that 64,000 customer accounts are without service as a result of an ice storm that started Monday. Utility crews worked through the overnight to keep the public safe from downed lines and damaged equipment as the impact phase of the storm extended into Tuesday morning. Outages from the storm peaked at 87,000 in late morning. The company estimates that more than 120,000 customers have lost power at some point in the latest phase of the storm which began Monday morning. The damage is concentrated in central and coastal portions of the company’s service area including Androscoggin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, and Waldo Counties.

 

The company made progress on restoration during the day, but the heavy coating of ice made working on the roadside more hazardous. Crews had to stay alert for falling limbs as they worked, and the weight of ice-coated limbs and trees made it more difficult to cut them away from poles and wires. In addition, fallen trees and slippery roads made travel difficult, and wires and switching devices had to be chipped free of ice for many routine tasks.

 

“In addition to the make-safe work that was our priority last night, our crews were able to restore service to critical facilities and assess the damage on the three-phase trunk lines,” said CMP spokesman John Carroll. “We also moved personnel and materials into the hardest hit areas during the night, so we were well positioned to begin the restoration in the morning. We made a good start, but with more than an inch of ice in many areas, every task takes more time and requires more precautions to stay safe.”

 

CMP reports that more than 1,000 personnel were directly involved in the restoration, including contract crews from Maine, Canada, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, and New York. By mid-day, the restoration effort included 285 two-man line crews and 330 tree crews. The utility also expects another 170 crews to arrive in Maine overnight.

 

The company repaired most of the damage to its three-phase trunk lines during the day, and made good progress assessing the damage on its single-phase secondary lines as well. Even with the restoration underway, the company warns that progress may be slowed by continued new outages and hazardous working conditions.

 

“We have a goal to restore service to every customer by Thursday night, but that may change based on the weather and a fuller assessment of the damage,” said Carroll. “The one thing we know for certain is this will be the first time everyone in the company will be working through Christmas, and we appreciate the help of all the contractors and emergency response officials who will be working along with us.”

 

Here is a list of outages by county (as of 7 p.m.)

 Kennebec: 27,870
Waldo: 15,034
Lincoln: 6,071
Hancock: 4,623
Androscoggin: 4,508
Sagadahoc: 2,743
Knox: 2,228
Oxford: 335
Franklin: 278
Cumberland: 167
Somerset: 105
Penobscot: 14
CMP Total: 63,976
 

Next update: Dec. 25, 11 a.m.

  

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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 of electricity annually to more than 600,000 homes and businesses, representing about 80% of Maine’s annual consumer sales of electricity. The company has been ranked #1 in customer satisfaction six times by J.D. Power and Associates. For more information, visit cmpco.com .

 

About Iberdrola USA: Iberdrola USA, a subsidiary of global energy leader Iberdrola, S.A., is an energy services and delivery company serving more than 2.4 million customers in upstate New York and New England. For more information about Iberdrola USA, visit www.iberdrolausa.com.