County EMA Director Tim Pellerin gave a report Tuesday to county commissioners on notable damage throughout Lincoln County from a storm that brought heavy rains and high winds last Tuesday, including power outages.
Pellerin said at one time about 1800 customers experienced power outages and at any one time from the onset to clearing, at least 50 percent of the communities in the county had outages. He said the state EMA is still working on final figures for statewide damages.
“About 100 customers still didn’t have power on Thanksgiving Day,” he said. “CMP worked 24 hours per day to get power back on for a majority of the customers.”
Pellerin said no injuries were reported during the early winter storm for which winds reportedly reached 70 miles per hour, but both hospitals in the county, Miles Memorial and St. Andrews, reported trees down and some awnings but otherwise received no substantial damages.
The state EMA kept the county EMA apprised of the status of situations throughout the state during the storm and had its Emergency Operations Center on standby advising the counties to do the same, he said. Lincoln County’s center was on standby from 4 p.m. onward for potential storm coverage.
The Lincoln County Communications Center remained in contact with Central Maine Power Co. throughout the storm to keep tabs on the impact to electric service in the county; receiving and giving briefs to customer service representative Sandy Levesque, he said.
The agency sent out alerts throughout the county as soon as it received information from the National Weather Service, according to Pellerin. He said by 4 p.m. last Tuesday, the county EMA had alerted all communities through the fire chiefs, local EMA directors, law enforcement, and schools. At the same time, the EMA notified Two Bridges Regional Jail, Miles Memorial Hospital, and St. Andrews Hospital about the hazardous weather outlook, high wind warning, and coastal flood advisory.
Pellerin said as of Tuesday he only received three notifications of damages. One of them was a report from the Waldoboro EMA concerning a mobile home losing its roof in the storm at an estimated $30,000 damage. The town assisted the owner with immediate needs, and at this point, no further action will be taken because he is living with relatives, he said.
Also, Kyle Santheson in Waldoboro reported minor road damages amounting to $1000.
The Newcastle EMA reported road damage on Happy Valley Rd., Cochran Rd., and Station Rd., according to Pellerin. “We are still assessing the total damage but we don’t think it is going to meet the threshold to be able to file for damage reimbursement,” Pellerin said.
Wiscasset EMA reported the municipal building generator failed when needed after power loss there. Because of the power failure, significant damage was done to the radio systems, Pellerin said.
Pellerin said the communications center fielded over 300 calls during the storm for wires down and power outages. “The communications center maintained a flawless operation,” he said. “They never missed a beat during the duration of the whole event.”
During the same meeting, Pellerin presented a plaque in appreciation for service in coordination with the EMA to County Administrator Jim McMahon, whose resignation is effective Dec. 12, and Lynn Orne.
Even though the cost amounts to about $30-40 more per month than the state’s bid, Brackett said it would not allow the county to negotiate a contract in tandem with the EMA/telecommunications contract, which is also for two years.
County Administrator Jim McMahon said both contracts could be renegotiated so that the county could request one bid for both departments.
Brackett also spoke about the need to replace a four-wheel drive SUV that has a cracked block. He did not recommend replacing the engine, which, he said, would cost an estimated $3500-4500 on the motor vehicle with 115,000 miles on it.
Instead he suggested a program vehicle, probably a smaller SUV with four-wheel drive, would serve the Sheriff’s Dept. well and meet the need for a spare. “We have four four-wheel drives which have proved invaluable in adverse weather conditions,” he said.
The board approved his request to put the motor vehicle out to bid.