CMP Moving Full Steam Ahead on Storm Recovery
Central Maine Power Company, 83 Edison Drive, Augusta, ME 04336 (207) 622-NEWS
Corporate Communications - firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Contacts: Gail Rice, 207.622.NEWS
AUGUSTA, Maine, November 3, 2014 " Central Maine Power Co. (CMP), a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, continues efforts to repair damage from a winter storm that came through Maine on Sunday. At 11 a.m. Monday, an estimated 82,500 customers were without service. Hardest hit are Knox, Waldo and Lincoln Counties in Maine's Midcoast area.
"The heavy snow and strong winds knocked out power to more than 80 percent of the homes and businesses in some counties along the mid-coast," says CMP spokesperson Gail Rice. "The severity of the damage and icy roads are adding to the difficulties facing crews in those areas."
CMP is setting up mobile command centers in Wiscasset, Union, and Bucksport to aid in storm recovery. CMP will also re-assign crews into areas with the worst damage as they complete the restoration in other parts of the state.
"Our focus today is to restore service on some of our major lines as we bring in additional crews and assess the damage on our system," she says. "We also have people in helicopters surveying transmission lines from the air to make sure we have a complete assessment of the damage to our system."
Utility officials are also sensitive to the timing of the storm response with tomorrow's elections, and have been in communication with the Maine Secretary of State and municipal officials. Municipal officials have been encouraged to evaluate preparedness at their polling places and have contingency plans in place.
CMP offers the following tips to help customers during outages:
" During a power interruption:
o To report a power interruption, contact CMP at 1.800.696.1000. Our telephone system automatically creates a work order and sets the stage for dispatch of crews to the outage location.
o 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.
o Never use grills or camp stoves indoors " they can give off dangerous gases.
o 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.
" For customers with generators:
o Hire a licensed electrician to install permanent generators and transfer switches.
o Make sure portable generators are properly grounded.
o Carefully read and observe all instructions in your generator's operating manual.
o Never run a generator indoors, or even in an open garage.
o Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it's running.
o Refer to CMP's web page on generator safety: Generator Safety
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," says 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, is on CMP's web site at www.cmpco.com.
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 www.cmpco.com/.
About Iberdrola USA: Iberdrola USA is the U.S. subsidiary of global energy leader Iberdrola, S.A. The Iberdrola USA companies employ about 5,000 people with operations in 24 states from New England to the West Coast, providing electricity generation, transmission and distribution, natural gas storage and distribution, and energy services. For more information, please visit our website: www.iberdrolausa.com. Follow us on Twitter: @IberdrolaUSA