As evening settled in Sunday, almost a week after a major windstorm knocked out power for over 21,000 Lincoln County residents, a total of 3,979 area households remained without electricity, according to the 4:44 p.m. report from Central Maine Power Co. That total put Lincoln County in the unenviable position of leading the state in remaining power outages, according to information from CMP.
Cumberland and Kennebec counties were a distant second place, with just over 2,000 outages each, according to CMP.
Every town in Lincoln County had outages at the time of the report. The highest numbers were in Newcastle and Nobleboro, at over 500 outages each; followed by Bristol, Jefferson, and Dresden, with over 400 outages each, according to CMP.
At 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Melissa Temple sent out an email to media. “Lincoln County EMA has been in contact with our CMP representative. He has advised us that CMP knows of every single outage in Lincoln County as well as any of the closed roads that are left,” the email sent by Temple read. “We were told that the crews will not leave our county until everyone has power restored. They are working around the clock.”
CMP reports that a workforce of more than 3,300 is working to restore service to the remaining customers on rural roads, coastal peninsulas, and islands across its service territory. Service restoration has also been slowed in areas where flooding or downed trees prevent access, especially in instances of property damage that require repairs by homeowners, according to CMP.
“We are committed to working as quickly and safely as possible to restore service to all of our customers,” said CMP President and CEO Sara Burns. “We have reached the point where each repair brings back fewer and fewer customers – in some cases multiple crews may work for many hours to restore a single customer’s service. Nonetheless, we won’t stop until the job is done.”
According to Burns: “We are getting support from utilities and contractors in 14 states and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec. We and our customers welcome the crews who have come to help us. We are focused on restoring service for customers and keeping everyone safe in the process, and appreciate customers’ patience and support as we continue to recover from this unprecedented event.”
Burns warned CMP customers who have power that they may experience short-lived, temporary outages. “At this stage of the storm recovery, outage numbers may fluctuate as additional trees and limbs fall and come in contact with power lines. It is also possible that crews may need to temporarily disrupt power to circuits to perform work safely,” Burns said.