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Environment and Outdoors

Tens Of Thousands Still Without Power In Maine In Wake Of Wind Storm

Ed Morin
Maine Public
A tree limb knocked down by Wednesday morning's storm blocks a street in Portland.

The effects of yesterday's winds are still being felt by some this morning. More than 120,000 customers lost service around the state Wednesday, and early Thursday morning about 35,000 have yet to get it back. As of around 7 a.m. Thursday Versant Power in northern Maine was reporting more than 7,000 customers still without power. In Central Maine Power's territory, that number was about 28,000.

CMP spokeswoman Catherine Hartnett says the high winds lasted longer than expected and reached farther than expected. And some gusts hit 62 miles per hour. 

"You can't put line workers up in a bucket truck when the gusts are in the 40 mile an hour range, it's simply not safe," Hartnett says. "So we've had to be careful about planning that kind of repair work and prioritizing the safety of our workers."

Hartnett says the event was unusual in that the high winds lasted so long through the day.

"It was also unusual that. despite our best planning and all of the forecasts. the wind extended inland more than anybody would have anticipated," she says, "adding up to a total number of outages of 128,000."

Hartnett says the utility brought in additional crews from Connecticut and New York to help with restoration. She says it's not certain when power will be fully restored but says crews are working "round the clock."