The snow is hampering efforts to get the power back on after a weekend ice storm turned out the lights for more than 100,000 homes and businesses in Maine at one point.
Parts of the state that have been without power for days after this weekend’s ice storm saw more snow falling Thursday, stalling efforts to get power restored to areas that were hardest hit. The Maine Emergency Management Agency has been keeping an eye and an ear on the situation since the ice storm struck and they got some bad news Thursday when it came to restoration times.
The 6,870 people in Hancock County could be without power until next Wednesday.
In Penobscot County and the Bangor area 3,891 people are still without power and could remain so until Sunday.
Washington County residents can expect to have power restored by the end of the day on Saturday.
“Hancock County was very badly hit and so some of those areas there was a lot of infrastructure damage and the restoration is not going as fast as any of us would like. despite all the resources that have gone into it,” said MEMA Spokesperson Lynette Miller.
Utilities have called in mutual aid from all over the eastern United States to help out. But the snowy weather on Thursday continued to stall some of those restoration efforts and made travel dangerous.
But it’s not all bad news. The Red Cross and Augusta City Officials opened a shelter at the Augusta Civic Center on Christmas Eve to help those folks in central Maine who had no power and no heat.
“The staff was incredible,” said Civic Center Assistant Director Earl Kingsbury. “I called some folks and they were all more than happy more than willing to come in here and give any support we needed, any time that we needed and any support that we needed.”
The shelter at the Augusta Civic Center closed around 10:00 Thursday morning. Folks around the area are hopeful that’s a sign that things around central Maine are getting back to normal.
Central Maine Power reported just over 16,077 outages statewide as of 3:00 Thursday afternoon. They hoped to have all their customers back up and running by Friday.
In the meantime, the Maine Emergency Management Agency and the utility companies are asking people to leave their linemen alone while they’re working and if people are going to use generators, put them at least 15 feet away from your home.
MEMA has the latest shelter and warming center information available for anyone still without power. You can access that information by dialing: 211