FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Outages reported across 11,000-square-mile service area
This broken pole in Readfield, just west of Augusta in Kennebec County, is typical of the damage from the high winds that came through Maine overnight.
A large tree came down across a transmission line between Bridgton and Denmark.
AUGUSTA, MAINE — October 16, 2018 — Crews from Central Maine Power Co. (CMP), a subsidiary of AVANGRID Inc. (NYSE: AGR), are out in full force on Tuesday, repairing damage from high winds that came through Maine overnight. The company reports an estimated 47,000 outages at 11 a.m. and estimates more than 88,000 customer accounts have lost power at some point since midnight. Damage has been seen across CMP’s 11,000-square-mile service area, where strong winds caused trees and limbs from outside the utility’s right of way to come into contact with lines. There are multiple reports of trees down blocking roadways in several communities.
Crews are working to de-energize downed lines for public safety and restore service as safely and efficiently as possible. CMP is bringing more personnel and equipment to assist the local workforce. It is also coordinating with the Maine Emergency Management Agency and county emergency management personnel to address local needs such as roads blocked by downed lines and trees. CMP is also performing aerial inspections of affected transmission lines affected by the high winds.
CMP’s first priority is to de-energize downed power lines to keep the public safe. Early recovery efforts also address the needs of hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police stations, as well as any other critical infrastructure, followed by work on major distribution lines that serve large numbers of customers.
Continued high winds forecast for Tuesday may affect the progress of restoration or cause new outages in some areas.
The restoration process
CMP first repairs the backbone of the electricity system – transmission lines and substations – that bring electricity to the local distribution system that serves our customers. Crews then make any necessary repairs to the distribution system that includes the poles and power lines along streets and roads, focusing first on those circuits where we can restore power to the largest number of customers. Next are secondary lines that serve smaller neighborhoods, followed by repairs to service lines to individual homes and businesses. This is a time-proven process that ensures we safely restore service as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Tips for customers
CMP offers customers the following tips to prepare for the storm and stay safe and comfortable if power outages do occur.
During a power interruption:
- Power outages can be reported on line at CMP’s mobile-friendly website (https://m.cmpco.com/mt/ecmp.cmpco.com/WebOutage) or by calling 1.800.696.1000. Our systems automatically create a work order and set the stage for dispatch of crews to the outage location.
- Bookmark the Outage Central page at http://www.cmpco.com/Outages/default.html (mobile friendly at https://m.cmpco.com/mt/www.cmpco.com) and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for current outage and safety information.
- When using an emergency heating source, like a wood stove, fireplace, or kerosene heater, keep fuels away from the flames and be sure to ventilate properly.
- Never use grills or camp stoves indoors — they can give off dangerous gases.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible. Most food will last 24 hours or longer if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.
- Turn off or unplug major appliances to avoid overloading circuits when power is restored.
After power is restored:
- Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading circuits.
- If a basement or home was flooded, have an electrician check the home before contacting CMP to have services turned on.
Replenish any emergency supplies used during the storm.
Safety is a top priority
CMP urges customers to stay clear of any downed power lines or fallen trees that may be tangled in lines. It also reminds drivers to use caution when approaching utility crews. The working conditions are difficult, and the workers appreciate everyone’s consideration for their safety.
Additional information on storm safety and restoration, including a town-by-town listing of outages in the CMP service area with an area map, can be found on CMP’s web site at www.cmpco.com. Because the situation is changing rapidly, customers are urged to check back often for updates.
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About AVANGRID: AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) is a leading, sustainable energy company with $31 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states. AVANGRID has two primary lines of business: Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid Networks owns eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving 3.2 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables owns and operates 7.1 gigawatts of electricity capacity, primarily through wind power, with a presence in 22 states across the United States. AVANGRID employs approximately 6,500 people. AVANGRID supports the U.N.’s Sustainability Development Goals, received a Climate Development Project climate score of “A-,” the top score received in the utilities sector, and has been recognized for two consecutive years by Ethical Boardroom as the North American utility with the “best corporate governance practices.” For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.