CMP zeros in on ice storm recovery
UPDATE: All mass care sites in Waldo (Belfast) and Penobscot counties (Brewer and Newburgh) are closed as of Dec. 28. The Hancock County sites will remain open through the day and as long as needed.
Central Maine Power Company, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, expects to restore service Friday night, Dec. 27, to all customers following the ice storm that hit Maine earlier in the week, according to a press release.
The company began the day with approximately 6,000 outages. Crews have worked through the day to reduce that number to fewer than 1,000 outages remain scattered across Waldo, Hancock and Kennebec counties. The restoration effort will continue through the evening until all customers have service, with the exception of some seasonal facilities and remote camps that are inaccessible in winter.
“I am grateful to our customers for their patience despite the cold and the disruption to holiday plans,” said Sara Burns, president and chief executive officer of CMP. “We were also fortunate to have had the support of local businesses and emergency management agencies that helped us to keep more than two thousand workers safe, rested and well-fed over the Christmas holiday.”
As the number of outages peaked at 87,000 in the morning of Christmas Eve, CMP mobilized an emergency response operation with 2,200 personnel including an all-hands turnout from CMP employees plus 370 line crews and 450 tree crews on contract from utilities and private companies from Maine, Canada and throughout the Northeast.
CMP’s employees and contractors restored service to 123,000 homes and businesses in just five days, said Burns. The storm management team worked around the clock to keep everyone safe, productive and well cared for.
“In the field, our tree crews and line crews cut away the ice covered trees and limbs and repaired ice-bound equipment to restore service, all the time working safely despite cold, snowy conditions and long work days that began and ended in the dark,” Burns said.
A shelter status update, also issued Friday afternoon, stated that while the shelter at Belfast’s Troy Howard Middle School is still open, it is no longer accepting pets; contact number for the Waldo County shelter is 274-1824.