CMP Preparing for Potential Impacts from Isaias

Heavy rain, wind gusts possible for early Wednesday

AUGUSTA, Maine — August 3, 2020 — 

Central Maine Power (CMP) is carefully monitoring the anticipated path of Tropical Storm Isaias for any impacts this week in Maine. Current forecasts call for heavy rain late Tuesday and early Wednesday with the likelihood of isolated wind gusts reaching 40-50 mph. The company is preparing for what could be thousands of outages.

“We have been watching the development of Isaias carefully, and are planning to respond to potential outages that could be caused by wind and rain. We will continue to monitor today and tomorrow, adjusting crews and equipment to meet predicted conditions,” said Tom Depeter, Vice President, Electric Operations.

The company is ensuring internal staffing levels across the service area are robust. In addition to about 200 CMP lineworkers, it has secured the availability of approximately 180 contracted lineworkers, including 80 from New Brunswick, Canada, and is lining up tree crews across the system. As in all storm preparations, CMP will reach out to County and local Emergency Management officials to coordinate initial response activities. As forecasts are refined this week, CMP will modify plans as needed.

Since March, CMP crews have incorporated COVID-19 protocols into storm response that includes appropriate social distancing practices for field employees and contractors including:

- 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 social distancing in the field
- Allowing one employee per vehicle
- Wearing masks as situations require

CMP provides the following tips to prepare for possible outages and advises customers to use online tools, accessible at www.cmpco.com to report and monitor outages.

Before a storm strikes:

  • Enroll in the free CMP Alerts service, which provides the latest information about power outages by text message, email, or voice message.
  • Keep battery-operated flashlights and radios on hand, along with supplies of drinking water and non-perishable foods.
  • Make sure that smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices are fully charged.
  • Fill your car’s fuel tank. 

Restoration priorities:

  • 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.

If you lose service:

  • To report an outage, visit Outage Central at cmpco.com. Customers may also report an outage using CMP’s 24/7 automated phone system at 800.696.1000.
  • Keep sensitive electronic appliances such as computers, TVs and stereos plugged into a surge protector, or unplug them. They could be damaged if a power surge occurs when electricity is restored.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. For information about food safety, visit http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html.
  • Never use a stove or oven, or an outdoor grill or heater, as an indoor space heater to stay warm. Only use space heaters intended for indoor use inside or in enclosed spaces, following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you are unable to keep your home safely heated, call Maine 211 for resources.

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.
  • Refer to CMP’s web page on generator safety.

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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.


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