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CMP, Versant continue efforts to restore power across Maine following weekend nor'easter

CMP has advised customers to prepare for extended outages. Versant said it expects to restore service to all customers by Monday night.

MAINE, USA — Central Maine Power (CMP) and Versant Power crews are working to restore power after Saturday night's storm left as many as 200,000 Mainers without power at its peak.

As of noon on Tuesday, CMP reported a little over 19,000 customers still without power, adding that power has been restored to about 90 percent of its customers impacted by the storm. Versant reported about 1,180 customers still without power.

“Mainers, who are used to seeing feet of snow each winter, may look out their window and not understand why this storm was so damaging,” said David Flanagan, CMP’s executive chairman. “The wet snow and sustained winds, upwards of 50 MPH in some areas, and ice brought large trees and limbs down—breaking 260 poles, taking down lines, and even damaging underground facilities.”

CMP’s 100 internal line crews supported by 483 external line crews and 264 tree crews will continue restoration efforts throughout the day Tuesday. As crews finish restoration efforts in their designated area, they are being deployed to the hardest hit areas to provide additional support, primarily in CMP’s northern and Bridgton-area territories.

“We know this is challenging and customers are frustrated,” added Flanagan. “We will not stop until every customer has power restored.”

On Monday, Versant said about 1,700 customers were still without power, but that they expected to have 99 percent of their customers back online "by the end of the day."

"Because of extensive damage in a few areas, particularly near Milo and Brownville, repairing work may not be completed until Tuesday," Versant said. "Crews will continue to work through the night restoring service."

CMP is advising customers to prepare for extended outages, calling the storm 'historic' and warning outages could last 3-5 days. 

Central Maine Power released the following estimated restoration times by county.

  • MONDAY NIGHT: Southern Cumberland 
  • TUESDAY NIGHT: York, Somerset, Kennebec, Piscataquis
  • WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Northern Cumberland, Franklin

David Flanagan, the executive chairman of CMP, was part of a virtual press briefing Monday to ensure customers that at least 1,500 linemen and tree crews are working to get power back online. 

"We are making every effort with the largest crew contingent we could possibly assemble to get this work done as quickly as possible," Flanagan said. "We will not let up until we have finished."

Flanagan said significant damage caused by heavy snow and strong winds damage upwards of 180 poles. 

"CMP is currently assessing, and will post estimated restoration times as soon as they are able," the company said in a release. "Given the extensive scale of outages, the company is advising that customers should be prepared to be without power for an extended amount of time."

"We had 300 line crews ready to go, that included 100 internal CMP crews, and we are receiving support from in and out of state contractors," Emily Spencer, spokesperson for CMP, said.

Versant spokesperson Judy Long told NEWS CENTER Maine the company had seen significant damage in Aroostook, Penobscot and Piscataquis counties.

"Our first priority in a storm like this is taking care of those down wires and making sure to keep the public safe," she said.

RELATED: Nor'easter brings widespread wind, snow to parts of Maine

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CMP reminds customers to remember the following if they have lost power:

  • Stay away from downed lines. No line is safe to touch.
  • Turn off or unplug major appliances and sensitive electronics.
  • Never use range or outdoor stoves to heat your home.
  • If you are in need of shelter or food, reach out to 211 for available resources.