HERMON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – As crews work to restore power to more than 350,000 Mainers without power, public safety officials are warning people about post-storm dangers.
“Often times there are more injuries after an event like this than there are during the event,” Hermon Fire Chief Frank Roma said.
Roma said his department was overwhelmed by calls during Monday’s storm, and they have already responded to a number of calls for carbon monoxide and injuries since.
“We just want people to be safe,” Roma said.”
The largest concern is related to generators. Fire crews in Limington responded to a fire sparked by a generator early Tuesday morning. York Fire Department also responded to a similar fire Monday afternoon where the generator was too close to the home.
“While the storm’s past the danger certainly hasn’t,” Roma said.
The CDC recommends taking the following safety precautions:
-Generators: Keep them away from your home (especially doors and windows) to avoid possible fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Officials also urge you to turn your generator off while refueling.
-Chainsaws: If you are cleaning up debris, be sure to follow manufacturer guidelines and wear the proper safety gear. Be aware of any nearby wires.
-Downed Wires: Do not go near any electrical wires, even if they do not appear to be live. Call your utility company or a qualified electrician.
-Candles/Fireplaces: Fire officials urge extra caution when using candles or lanterns to light your home during an outage. Do not leave them lit while you are sleeping.
-Driving: Maine State Police are urging motorists to take it slow especially while driving at night where there are not streetlights or working traffic lights. If you come across downed trees, powerlines or flooded streets, always turn around.
The state remains in a state of emergency with extra resources in place across the state. Many local agencies are also bringing in extra staff to keep up with the demand.
You can always reach out to your local fire department for help if needed. If it’s an emergency, dial 911. Power officials expect restoration to take at least week.