Central Maine Power Restoring Power Overnight 

Peak number of outages reaches 30,000

AUGUSTA, Maine— February 7, 2020— Central Maine Power Co. (CMP) is working across its service territory to restore power to customers Friday night.  The number of outages peaked at just over 30,000 with a total of about 51,000 customers impacted throughout the event.  As of 9:30 PM, approximately 22,700 remained without power with the majority of affected customers in the Rockland, Brunswick, Alfred and Greater Portland areas.

CMP crews will work late into the night and employees will report for work very early Saturday along with over 50 contactor crews and 20 additional contractor crews from CMP’s sister company UI in Orange CT who are scheduled to arrive Saturday morning as well.

Iced tree limbs are prone to breaking and falling on lines, particularly if weighted down with wet snow, and subjected to gusty winds. 

“We are paying close attention to accumulated ice on trees and limbs primarily for safety reasons,” said Matt Sadler, Senior Manager of the Energy Control Center for CMP. “Icy conditions make for a dangerous work environment and we would ask that customers give our line crews plenty of room to work.”

CMP has also been coordinating preparedness efforts with the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), and county Emergency Management agencies.

CMP offers customers the following tips to prepare for the storm and stay safe and comfortable if power outages do occur. 

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. 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

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 website.

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Media Contact:
Catharine Hartnett
207.629.1555 (office)