The ice began to fall Saturday night, and power problems weren’t far behind.
As of 8PM Sunday Bangor Hydro is reporting just under 7,500 customers without power in the region.
The largest number of outages is currently in Ellsworth with some 1,500 customers in the dark.
“As predicted, things really kicked into high gear weather wise overnight. We expected to start seeing more outages in our system this morning and our first call came in at around quarter to six this morning,” said Bob Potts, Communication Specialist with Bangor Hydro.
And that was just the beginning.
“Ice is very different than snow because it’s just so much heavier. It brings the lines down, it brings tree limbs down onto those lines,” said Potts.
And with downed lines came blown transformers and thousands of outages throughout the day. By late morning, Bangor Hydro had declared a system-wide emergency.
“We’re bringing crews in from other districts. We are sending tree crews out to do tree trimming and try and get some of the limbs off the lines-but it definitely is all hands on deck today,” said Potts.
At one point Sunday, Bangor Hydro reported more than 15 thousand customers without power, the vast majority of those in Hancock, Waldo and Washington counties, the areas hardest hit.
Coastal communities were struck hardest by the ice storm, but slippery roads have been an issue throughout the region.
“The roads are very icy, very slippery, a lot of vehicles off the road, south of Bangor, north of Bangor, it’s all pretty much the same,” said State Trooper Adam Gould of Troop E.
Troopers say it’s crucial to make sure you’re not a danger to others on the road.
“Clear the top of your vehicle off. A lot of that ice can hit other vehicles and smash windows,” said Gould. “We did have one in Bangor earlier where icefall did smash into a window and cause an accident.”
We did find some people today who braved the icy roads and embraced the winter weather, like these ice climbers in Bangor.
“I’ve been looking forward to ice season all year so I’m really happy it’s finally in,” said ice climber Jimmy Haller.
Authorities don’t expect roads to be entirely safe well into Monday. They’re telling drivers to proceed with caution.
“You want to be driving slow, pay attention to other vehicles, bring emergency equipment with you. Blankets, jumper cables, flashlights, cell phone so if you do go off the road you can call us and we can come get you some help,” said Gould.
John Krinjak, WABI TV5 News, Bangor.>