Fifteen years ago, many Washington County residents were in the dark. Power lines were among the victims of the ice storm of ’98Bangor Hydro Vice-President of Transmission and Distribution Operations Kim Wadleigh said, “We saw 9 miles of transmission line come down, as well as 150 poles that had to be rebuilt.”That kind of rebuilding takes a lot of time, even though Bangor Hydro crews worked as fast as they could.”We saw some customers who were probably out of power for over 3 weeks in Downeast Maine and that’s a long time,” said Wadleigh.It’s something the electric company didn’t want to see happen again.Now in 2013, Bangor Hydro has completed a five-year project that will make its services more reliable to Downeast customers.”This project was born out of that ice storm,” said Wadleigh.The construction included 43 miles of new line and 4 new substations. Bangor Hydro officials said it was completed in late-December, on time and under budget.”Prior to this project being energized it was only one line serving the entire Downeast region. By building a second line, we strengthen the entire system,” said project manager Steve Sloan.He said, “If one line were to be damaged, the other line immediately kicks in and carries the load. And either line is capable of carrying the entire Downeast load.So it’s most likely that if what happened in 1998 happened in 2013, there would be a better and brighter outcome for customers.