Wind Knocks Out Power For Nearly 500,000 Maine Households [UPDATE]
Nearly 500,000 customers were without electricity and roads were closed as a powerful storm brought high winds and rain to the state.
The largest percentage of outages are in southern Maine, where schools, courts, and services have closed. Winds gusting close to 70 miles per hour caused trees and limbs to fall across roads and take down power lines.
The majority of outages are in Central Maine Power's territory. CMP officials say power restoration will take days.
Emera Maine reported, as of 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, about 62,000 customers were without power, down from a peak of more than 85,000 customers. Many of those customers are in Hancock County and on the coastal islands, but about 23,000 outages remained in the Bangor area, with 9,500 households in the city itself. Some closings were reported.
"We know we are looking at days," Mike Herrin, Chief Operating Officer for Emera Maine said Monday. "Once the second wind peak hits this afternoon, and we are able to fully assess damage, we will better know what we are looking at for a restoration time."
Gov. Paul LePage is urging Mainers to stay safe as they travel, and to use generators wisely once the power goes out.
In Orrington, a post on the Facebook page for Fire & Rescue is urging residents to stay home. Multiple downed trees and power lines are making most roads completely impassable. Other communities are surely experiencing similar conditions.
In Brewer, a section of Route 9 was shut down for several hours Monday morning as crews worked to repair two broken utility poles on either side of the road.
The Maine Emergency Management Agency is monitoring the storm and is coordinating with the National Weather Service.
The Maine Department of Transportation is cautioning drivers to take extra time during their morning commute and be ready for anything they may find in the roadway. Crews are reporting trees and power lines down, and traffic lights that are not working. In addition, heavy rainfall is causing some standing water on the roads. Drivers should use extra caution, particularly when approaching intersections or high profile vehicles that may be influenced by strong wind gusts.
Find more information and safety tips at MEMA's website.