Although full restoration may not take place until Saturday for some customers, Central Maine Power has announced that it is “positioned to make major progress on power restoration” the day after an intense wind and rain storm has caused the highest number of outages to the energy grid in CMP’s 118-year history.
Of the 26,934 CMP customers in Lincoln County, 21,601 of those households have power outages, according to the 12:52 p.m. report from CMP on Tuesday. The number of power restorations made Tuesday was only 41, based on the mid-day total from Monday of 21,642.
CMP explains that on Monday, the company made “enormous progress” on storm recovery by restoring service to all hospitals and protecting the public from risks of energized lines and damaged equipment. The company reported that an estimated 345,000 CMP accounts state-wide remained without service at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, down from a peak of more than 400,000 at midday Monday.
“Today (Tuesday) we expect to restore service to large customer groups by completing repairs to transmission and major distribution lines,” said Gail Rice, CMP spokesperson. “We also expect to make more progress on damage assessment, which should allow us to develop a general restoration estimate later today.”
Rice noted progress made so far comes despite difficulties gaining access to many areas due to downed trees and flooding.
The company’s workforce of 1,000 includes field personnel, tree clearing crews, line and substation repair crews, and safety, logistics, assessors, and mechanical repair personnel.
High demand from widespread damage to utilities throughout New England and eastern Canada has been a challenge to CMP efforts to get more crews. The next wave of almost 500 additional line and tree workers is expected to arrive today with more to follow from as far away as Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia.
Recovery from the storm could take at least a week in some areas. CMP expects to provide a better timeline for the recovery by later Tuesday.
“Our crews are working as quickly and safely as possible, and we ask people to refrain from approaching them with questions that can slow their work and create safety concerns,” said Rice. “We encourage customers to go to our website for restoration updates, and let our crews focus on safety as they go about their tasks.”