Heavy Snow and Wind Cause Power Outages
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUSTA, ME Dec. 30, 2016 Central Maine Power Company (CMP), a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), reports an estimated 86,000 customers are without service late Friday morning as the last of the heavy snows moved out of central and northern Maine. More than 350 local line crews, contractors, and tree crews began work shortly after daybreak as the last of the snow fell across the region.
"The heavy, wet snow that started around midday Thursday has built up on roads, tree limbs, and power lines, causing widespread damage across our service area and making travel conditions difficult for our crews," said Gail Rice, spokesperson for Central Maine Power. "We will get a good start on the restoration today, but with poor travel conditions and deep snow along the roadsides, we expect it could take several days to complete the restoration."
The workforce today includes 93 CMP two-person line crews; 166 outside contractor crews from Maine, Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick, Connecticut, and New York; 120 tree crews; plus support staff of safety personnel, supervisors, logistics, mechanics, customer service, and others.
Initial reports from the field indicate travel conditions are difficult, and high winds in northern parts of our service area could cause additional outages and hinder repair progress, said Rice. Customers can get updates on service restoration for their homes and businesses by signing up for the free Outage Alert service or on the company's website at www.cmpco.com.
A list of outages by county is on CMP's web site: m.cmpco.com. The company will update the web site with estimated restoration times as soon as more information is available.
CMP urges customers to report outages on its mobile-friendly web site at m.cmpco.com or by calling 1.800.696.1000. Customers can also sign up for CMP's free Outage Alerts service, which provides the latest information about power outages by text message, email, or voice message.
CMP offers customers the following tips to prepare for the storm and stay safe and comfortable during power outages:
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.
Bookmark the Outage Central page at http://www.cmpco.com/Outages/default.html (mobile friendly at https://m.cmpco.com/mt/www.cmpco.com) and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for current outage and safety information.
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.
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: http://www.cmpco.com/UsageAndSafety/electricalsafety/GeneratorSafety/default.html
Visit http://www.cmpco.com/Outages/storm_safety.html for additional storm safety information.
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.
The company urges customers to use caution if they see downed lines.
Everyone should stay clear of any downed power lines or fallen trees that may be tangled in the lines, said CMP Spokesperson Gail Rice.All downed lines should be considered live and dangerous. Customers should leave the clean-up to our crews, who are trained and equipped to handle these situations safely.
CMP 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 $30 billion in assets and operations in 25 states. The company operates regulated utilities and electricity generation through two primary lines of business. Avangrid Networks includes eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving 3.1 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables operates 6.3 gigawatts of electricity capacity, primarily through wind power, in states across the United States. AVANGRID employs 7,000 people. The company was formed by a merger between AVANGRID and UIL Holdings Corporation in 2015. IBERDROLA S.A. (Madrid: IBE), a worldwide leader in the energy industry, owns 81.5% of AVANGRID. 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 620,000 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.