CMP Continues Restoration Challenged by Conditions
Company continues progress in hard hit areas
AUGUSTA, Me — April 13, 2020 - Strong wind, driving rain and treacherous road conditions have challenged CMP crews as they continue to restore outages left from Thursday’s snow, rain and wind storm. The company is persevering and focused on restoring those customers that have been without power since Thursday, while addressing outages that could result from expected wind gusts today. Outage numbers continue to fluctuate across the service area as some are restored while new outages occur.
CMP moved additional crews to Penobscot, Waldo and Somerset counties to repair system damage. Workers are taking time to navigate through mud and snow while practicing physical distancing on work sites and while traveling. While the company has secured the support of 210 independent contract line crews remaining in Maine to work with CMP’s 100 internal crews and 129 tree crews, it has lost half of the line resources who were in state over the weekend as out of state utility crews from other utility companies have returned to their home states to respond to storm impacts.
Winds have created smaller scale outages in coastal areas. Forecasts call for maximum gusts that could exceed 50 mph through tonight.
“This has been a very challenging day for every worker in the field,” said Doug Herling, president and CEO of CMP. “We will not stop until all outages are restored and we must prioritize the safety of our employees and contractors.”
CMP follows a restoration process that focuses first on locations that restore larger numbers of customers at once, and then restores equipment and lines serving smaller numbers of customers. With driving rain and hazardous road conditions, crews must take extra care to work safely, and bucket trucks cannot operate in extreme wind conditions.
The company asks that for the health and safety of the working crews and the public that customers not approach lineworkers on work sites.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company is also directing lineworkers and field staff to take all appropriate precautions including:
- Limiting one employee per vehicle travelling to field locations
- Working in separate teams to minimize contact
- Restricting visitor access to company facilities
- Entering a customer residence only in the event of emergency and after assessing risk
- Maintaining appropriate physical distancing in the field
CMP advises customers to use online tools, accessible at www.cmpco.com to report and monitor outages.
- CMP follows an orderly process when restoring service that emphasizes safety and seeks to make effective use of resources.
- CMP’s immediate concern after a storm is public safety. Restoration teams work with towns and the state to de-energize downed lines, clear roads and restore previously identified critical facilities such as hospitals and shelters.
- Next, CMP focuses on assessing damage and repairing the backbone of the electrical system: substations, transmission lines, circuits and primary lines. Crews focus on locations where they can restore large numbers of customers at once.
- Then, crews restore equipment and lines that serve smaller groups of customers.
- Finally, crews focus on restoring remaining service lines to individual homes and buildings until every customer has service. This phase may begin while higher-priority work is already underway.
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About CMP: Central Maine Power Company (CMP), a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., is Maine’s largest electricity transmission and distribution utility. Established in 1899 and based in Augusta, Maine, CMP serves approximately 624,000 customers across 346 communities in central and southern Maine. It operates approximately 23,500 miles of distribution lines and 2,900 miles of transmission lines. Over the last decade, the company has invested approximately $2.6 billion in Maine system infrastructure. In 2019, CMP was named Large Business of the Year by the Kennebec Valley United Way. For more information, visit www.cmpco.com.
About AVANGRID: AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) is a leading, sustainable energy company with approximately $34 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states. With headquarters in Orange, Connecticut, AVANGRID has two primary lines of business: Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid Networks owns eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. AVANGRID employs approximately 6,600 people. AVANGRID supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2019 and 2020 by the Ethisphere Institute. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.