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More than 328,000 Maine customers still without power from Monday's windstorm

Central Maine Power says that it has already restored electricity to more than 100,000 households after Monday's storm, but it expects that it could take until the weekend for the hardest hit areas to recover.

CMP Spokesperson Jon Breed says that restoring power to inland communities has been a particular challenge, as workers have had trouble reaching wires because of flooded roads and downed trees.

"Unfortunately, we are still trying to access areas of damage, areas with outages, so we're still trying to understand the full scope, before we can get some customers back online," he says.

Breed says that about 1,400 line and tree workers are already working across the state, with another 1,000 expected to join them by the end of the day Tuesday.

More than 250,000 CMP customers are still without power as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, and nearly 77,000 Versant customers are out.

As communities continue cleanup from the storm, some are also contending with the additional impacts from river flooding.

Lewiston Public Works Director Reggie Poussard says that Tuesday morning there were more than 50 workers dealing with downed wires and trees blocking streets, and also taking steps to close off other roadways near the Androscoggin River that were expected to flood later in the day.

"So I'm hoping we have a lot of the most important emergencies handled by the end of the day today. Then obviously, we're going to be cleaning this up for, I'd say, a week or two, before we're completely cleaned up from this storm," he says.

In the town of Rumford, emergency officials have had to rescue several residents from houses flooded by heavy rains.

Town Manager Stacy Carter says that parts of the town are still inaccessible because of flooded roadways, and some houses have had waters rise a foot or two into their first floors.

"We've made several rescues through our fire department, and their raft, to get people evacuated out of some of those residences. There are a lot of people who are shelter in place right now. But we're simply waiting for the water to recede at that time," he says.

Carter says he expects some roads to begin to open up by tonight, which will allow officials to take better stock of the total infrastructure damage from the storm.

The town has also opened an emergency shelter at its high school.

Flood warnings remain in effect until later this week for the Kennebec River at Hallowell, Augusta, North Sidney and Skowhegan. A warning for the Androscoggin River remains in effect until tomorrow in Rumford, and until late Thursday near Auburn.

This story was originally published December 18, 2023 at 12:54 PM EST