Officials Air Frustrations Over Utilities’ Response To October Storm

Feb 6, 2018

Dozens turned out for a State House hearing Tuesday on state utilities’ response to the October windstorm that knocked out power for several days. The verdict from some municipal officials: a big fail.

Harpswell Select Board Chairman Richard Daniel said local emergency management officials were well-prepared for events such as the storm-caused power outages. But they weren’t prepared for CMP’s poor response.

“It became apparent to me that CMP was not going to be here anytime soon, to not only restore power, but more frustratingly to not even open roads to allow for trucks to refuel generators and for appropriate fire and rescue apparatus to pass, creating secondary hazards to our residents and impeding their chances of a successful outcome should the worst have happened,” he said.

The utilities did not face absolute condemnation, though. Bangor Fire Chief Tom Higgins said Emera Maine’s slow response to the storm forced some creative solutions, such as cobbling together a system of generators to keep traffic lights running. But he said that communications and planning with the utility have improved since the storm.