High winds and heavy rains accompanying a large storm system moved through the Midcoast Monday, Dec. 18, leaving considerable damage in its wake in the form of downed trees and power lines and nearly 100 road closures in Lincoln County.
According to the roads report posted on the Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency’s website, most of the closures are due to tree debris and downed power and telephone lines.
On Tuesday, Dec. 19, Lincoln County EMA Director Maury Prentiss said his agency closely tracked the storm and is monitoring cleanup efforts in the storm’s wake. The Lincoln County EMA website, lincolncountyema.net/current-storm-updates, and Facebook page are being updated regularly with storm-related information, Prentiss said, and he encouraged of the public to check those sites for the latest news from his office.
In a Facebook post made around 7 a.m. Tuesday, Prentiss encouraged residents to stay off the roads if at all possible. He also urged patience for the emergency crews working to clear the roads and turn the power back on as fast as possible.
“As the sun comes up and we start to understand the magnitude of the storm, we ask that you are mindful of each other and all the crews that are working very hard to get things back open and on,” Prentiss said. “If you can stay home today please do so. The congestion of many cars on the road looking for a route to (their) destination is just going to make restorations slower.”
According to Central Maine Power Co., as of 8:43 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 10,993 of CMP’s 28,568 customers in Lincoln County remaind without power. In a prepared statement, CMP spokesperson Jon Breed said repairs can begin in earnest now that the high winds have subsided.
“The damage our crews are seeing is extensive, and we have been assisting local emergency management agencies with hundreds of calls for assistance to clear roads and make fallen power lines safe,” Breed said in a press release. “Because of incredibly high sustained wind speeds, many of our crews are unable to utilize bucket trucks and begin making repairs. As winds subside, we will work to restore power to our customers as quickly and as safely as possible until all customers are restored.”
As of 10:55 a.m., Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Southport, Somerville, Whitefield, Westport Island are entirely without electricity and South Bristol, Jefferson, Dresden, and Nobleboro nearly so. Outages are widespread across the remaining Lincoln County towns.
According to CMP, power outages are reported in 14 of Maine’s 16 counties, save only Aroostook and Washington counties, accounting for 311,604 of CMP’s 673,950 customers.