Central Maine Power Positioned to Make Major Progress on Power Restoration Today
Storm recovery workforce of 1,000 expected to grow
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUSTA, Maine October 31, 2017 Central Maine Power Co. (CMP), a subsidiary of AVANGRID Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a diversified energy and utility company, is moving into is second day of storm recovery and expects to add to the 1,000 people engaged in the effort. Since the height of the storm at midday Monday, service has been restored to more than 50,000 homes and businesses across central and southern Maine. The wind and rain storm has caused the highest number of outages to the energy grid in CMP's 118-year history, even exceeding damage from the 1998 ice storm.
On Monday, the energy company made enormous progress on storm recovery by restoring service to all hospitals and protecting the public from risks of energized lines and damaged equipment as high winds and heavy rain raked Maine Sunday night and Monday. The company reports an estimated 345,000 customer accounts remain without service at 9 a.m. Tuesday, down from a peak of more than 400,000 at midday Monday.
Today we expect to restore service to large customer groups by completing repairs to transmission and major distribution lines, said Gail Rice, CMP spokesperson. "We also expect to make more progress on damage assessment, which should allow us to develop a general restoration estimate later today."
Rice noted progress made so far comes despite difficulties gaining access to many areas due to downed trees and flooding.
The company's workforce of 1,000 includes field personnel, tree clearing crews, line and substation repair crews, and safety, logistics, assessors, and mechanical repair personnel. High demand from widespread damage to utilities throughout New England and eastern Canada has been a challenge to the company's efforts to get more crews. The next wave of almost 500 additional line and tree workers is expected to arrive today with more to follow from as far away as Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia.
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 later today.
"Our crews are working as quickly and safely as possible, and we ask people to refrain from approaching them with questions that can slow their work and create safety concerns, 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."
CMP offers customers the following tips to stay safe and comfortable if power outages do occur.
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.
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.
CMP urges customers to stay clear of any downed power lines or fallen trees that may be tangled in lines. It 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.
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.