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Environment and Outdoors

Electric Utilities Preparing For Wet, Windy Forecast For Christmas Day

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Robert F. Bukaty
/
Associated Press
A crew from New Brunswick, Canada, works to restore power following a severe rain storm, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Brunswick, Maine.

A blast of warm air from just north of the Bahamas is on its way to Maine for Christmas.

“So the wind potential is concerning, especially along the coast,” says Derek Schroeter with National Weather Service in Gray.

Schroeter says coastal areas could see 50-60 mph wind gusts Friday.

Additionally the state is expected to receive heavy rain and fog and temperatures in the 50s, with up to two inches falling on Christmas Day.

But Shroeter warns that a cold front will be coming right behind all that warm rain.

“Be careful if you’re traveling late Christmas night or early Saturday morning for the potential of water refreezing on the roadways,” he says.

Shroeter says Mainers should prepare for potential power outages on Christmas Day, and he says some areas could see minor flooding.

Central Maine Power spokesperson Catharine Hartnett says despite the holiday, all of the company’s lineworkers will be available to assist with potential power outages.

And she says the company has 75 additional outside contractors — as well as 90 tree crews for clearing roads — all available on Christmas Day.

“Based on what we’re expecting for wind and rain, we feel we’re adequately staffed. And we can always adjust that, depending on what the storm brings us,” she says.

But Hartnett says CMP is watching the forecast very closely, as she says strong gusts could make it more difficult for crews to safely repair lines following the storm.

“That’s probably the one thing, is all this rain — and we hear a sudden freeze is expected just afterwards,” she says. “We need to make sure our crews are safe out on roads that could be treacherous.”

More than 200,000 households were left without power in a storm earlier this month.