Central Maine Power Prepares for High Winds

AUGUSTA, MAINE — October 31, 2019 — 

Central Maine Power Co. (CMP), a subsidiary of AVANGRID Inc. (NYSE: AGR), is closely monitoring weather forecasts and is preparing to respond to gusty winds throughout the company service territory starting late Thursday night and throughout Friday. Most recent forecasts call for the potential of 40-50 mph gusts through Friday.

CMP has been coordinating preparedness efforts with the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), county Emergency Management agencies.  As was the case with the Nor’easter earlier this month, and all storms – clearing downed lines and debris from roads will be a priority for CMP crews in storm response.

CMP service centers across the service territory have called employee line crews in for an early start time Friday, and the company has retained close to 80 contractor crews for initial response with more than 60 additional contractors crews available as needed.  
“As was the case with the storm two weeks ago, the trees are in soft ground and many still have leaves. This makes them more prone to uprooting and limbs can fall and damage poles and lines,” said Kevin Elwell, director of Electric Distribution for CMP.  “Everyone should stay far away from any downed lines.”

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 web site at http://www.cmpco.com/Outages/.

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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 $33 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states. AVANGRID has two primary lines of business: Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid Networks owns eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving 3.2 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables owns and operates 7.2 gigawatts of electricity capacity, primarily through wind power, with a presence in 22 states across the United States. AVANGRID employs approximately 6,500 people. AVANGRID supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2019 by the Ethisphere Institute. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.

Media Contact:

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