Central Maine Power Prepares for Mixed Winter Weather

Resources staged across state to prepare for  weekend storm

AUGUSTA, Maine— January 10, 2020 — Central Maine Power Co. (CMP) is closely monitoring weather forecasts and preparing to respond in the face of a variety of winter weather conditions anticipated over the weekend across Maine.

Based on current forecasts for ice and freezing rain, the company has directed all line crews to report for duty early Sunday morning anticipating that crews may need to be deployed in the central and northern parts of the state. CMP has also secured the support of more than 100 contractor crews to be staged in areas where impact could be greatest, and will discuss additional resource needs with the North Atlantic Mutual Assistance Group – the organization that organizes out of state resource support for utilities. 

“CMP will track changing forecasts carefully to ensure our resources are dedicated to the parts of the state where ice on trees could potentially present a risk for outages,” said Kevin Elwell, director of Electric Distribution for CMP. “We are working to stage our employee and contractor crews for the safest and most efficient response as forecasts are updated.”

CMP has also been coordinating preparedness efforts with the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), county Emergency Management agencies and local municipalities to understand restoration priorities and any safety concerns.

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
Catharine.Hartnett@avangrid.com
207.629.1555 (office)
207.458.3510 (cell)
1.833.MEDIA.55 (833.633.4255) after hours