Central Maine Power Company, 83 Edison Drive, Augusta, ME 04336 (207) 622-NEWS
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Media Contact: John Carroll (207) 622 NEWS
CMP Crews Set to Complete Ice Storm Recovery This Evening
AUGUSTA, Maine. December 27, 2013 — Central Maine Power Company, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, expects to restore service tonight to all customers following the ice storm that hit Maine earlier this week. The company began the day with approximately 6,000 outages. Crews have worked through the day to reduce that number to fewer than 1,000 outages that remain scattered across Kennebec, Waldo, and Hancock counties. The restoration effort will continue through the evening until all customers have service, with the exception of some seasonal facilities and remote camps that are inaccessible in winter.
“I am grateful to our customers for their patience despite the cold and the disruption to holiday plans,’ said Sara Burns, president and chief executive officer of CMP. “We were also fortunate to have had the support of local businesses and emergency management agencies that helped us to keep more than two thousand workers safe, rested, and well-fed over the Christmas holiday.”
As the number of outages peaked at 87,000 in the morning of Christmas Eve, CMP mobilized an emergency response operation with 2,200 personnel, including an all-hands turnout from CMP employees plus 370 line crews and 450 tree crews on contract from utilities and private companies from Maine, Canada, and throughout the Northeast.
“I am tremendously proud of CMP’s employees and contractors for restoring service to 123,000 homes and businesses in just five days,” said Burns. “Our storm management team worked around the clock to keep everyone safe, productive and well cared for. In the field, our tree crews and line crews cut away the ice covered trees and limbs and repaired ice-bound equipment to restore service, all the time working safely despite cold, snowy conditions and long work days that began and ended in the dark.”
This is the final update.
Storm Summary: A mild icing event coated much of the CMP service area with one-quarter inch or less on Sunday, December 22. A second round of rain and icing began in the early hours of Monday and continued through the day and late into the night. By Tuesday morning, heavy icing had formed along a band roughly 40 to 50 miles wide centered on a line running from Auburn to Belfast. The National Weather Service reported 0.75 inches of ice in Lewiston/Greene, 1.2 inches in Augusta, and 0.8 inches in coastal towns near Belfast. The icing stopped shortly before sunrise on Tuesday morning, and temperatures dropped, remaining well below freezing for the remainder of the week.
For CMP, the outage count hovered between two and four thousand on Sunday. The count rose sharply on Monday, reaching 80,000 by 10 p.m. and rising to a peak of 87,000 by 10 a.m. Tuesday, the morning of Christmas Eve. CMP crews focused on “make-safe” work through Monday night and into Tuesday morning. The full restoration effort was underway by mid-day Tuesday. By noon on Christmas Day, crews had reduced the outage count to 50,000, and it was reduced to 21,000 by noon on December 26. The number of outages had been cut to 7,500 at noon on Friday, December 27, and the final customers were restored late that evening.
Damage from the Christmas 2013 ice storm was primarily related to contact from ice covered limbs that had sagged onto conductors or snapped off and fell onto the conductors. The frozen ground held most trees upright and off the wires, so only 44 broken poles were reported, despite the large number of outages. Over the course of the storm, 123,000 customers lost power at least once. CMP crews restored service to 100,000 in the 72 hours following the start of the icing on the morning of the Dec. 23. For the first time in memory, all CMP workers were called on to work on Christmas Day, and the company fielded a workforce of 1,800 employees and contractors. On Christmas night, the Senator Inn opened at CMP’s request, and with the assistance of CMP employees, served Christmas dinner for 750 line and tree crews. The CMP restoration team peaked at 2,200 personnel on Dec. 26, including 455 line repair crews, 450 tree crews, and several hundred customer service, administrative, and logistical support personnel in the field and company offices.
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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.