Central Maine Power Advises Recovery from Wind and Rain Storm Will Take Several Days
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This scene in Durham is typical of the damage CMP crews have encountered
in the wake of the wind and rain storm that hit Maine Sunday and Monday.
AUGUSTA, Maine — October 30, 2017 — Crews for Central Maine Power Company, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a diversified energy and utility company, have been responding to widespread outages from strong winds and heavy rain that came through Maine Sunday night and Monday. The company reports an estimated 385,000 customer accounts – more than 60 percent of the energy company’s customer base -- were without service at 4 p.m. Monday. Outages peaked at more than 400,000 at midday.
“This is the largest number of outages in the company’s history. It is significantly larger than the 1998 Ice Storm that people remember so well,” said Gail Rice, CMP spokesperson. “Our crews have focused today’s efforts on making downed lines safe -- a critical first step in our process, and restoring service to hospitals and other critical facilities.”
CMP had 100 of its own two-person crews working on storm recovery today, along with 105 crews from contractors in Maine and New Brunswick and 108 tree crews. Widespread damage throughout New England and eastern Canada presents an added challenge in the restoration. Additional crews expected to arrive soon from Canada; others from as far away as Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia are on their way.
Recovery from the storm could take at least a week in some areas. The company expects to provide a better timeline for the recovery by late on Tuesday.
“Our crews are working as quickly and safely as possible, and we ask that people refrain from approaching them with questions,” said Rice. “We encourage customers to go to our website for restoration updates, and let our crews focus on safety as they go about their tasks.”
During a power interruption:
Power outages can be reported on line at CMP’s mobile-friendly website (https://m.cmpco.com/mt/ecmp.cmpco.com/WebOutage
) or by calling 1.800.696.1000. Our systems automatically create a work order and set the stage for dispatch of crews to the outage location.
When using 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.
Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible. Most food will last 24 hours or longer if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.
Turn off or unplug major appliances to avoid overloading circuits when power is restored.
For customers with generators:
Hire a licensed electrician to install permanent generators and transfer switches.
Properly ground all portable generators.
Carefully read and observe all instructions in your generator’s operating manual.
Never run a generator indoors, or even in an open garage.
If your carbon monoxide detector goes off – get out of the building immediately and call 911.
Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it’s running.
After Power Is Restored
Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading circuits.
If a basement or home was flooded, have an electrician check the home before contacting CMP to have services turned on.
Replenish any emergency supplies used during the storm.
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 CMP Spokesperson Gail Rice. “All downed 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. The working conditions are difficult, and the workers 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.
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About AVANGRID: AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) is a diversified energy and utility company with more than $31 billion in assets and operations in 27 states. The company owns regulated utilities and electricity generation assets through two primary lines of business, Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid Networks is comprised of eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving approximately 3.2 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables operates more than 6 gigawatts of owned and controlled renewable generation capacity, primarily through wind and solar, in 22 states across the United States. AVANGRID employs approximately 6,800 people. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.
About CMP: Central Maine Power Company (CMP) is a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR). As Maine’s largest electricity transmission and distribution utility, CMP serves 618,000 homes and businesses, representing about 80% of Maine’s customer base. J.D. Power and Associates has ranked the company #1 in customer satisfaction seven times. For more information, visit www.cmpco.com.