More than 6,000 still without power Tuesday in wake of storm

Posted March 08, 2011, at 2:15 p.m.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — More than 6,000 Central Maine Power Co. and Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. customers were still without power Tuesday after freezing rain and snow blanketed the state Monday, disrupting power lines.

Representatives of both companies said Tuesday they expected to have the power restored to most customers by 6 p.m. The majority of the customers still without power were in Piscataquis and northern Penobscot counties.

The Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department faced a problem Monday afternoon when a downed tree disrupted the communication tower on the North Road in Sebec. While the power was being restored at the tower, a Milo firefighter remained at the Milo Fire Department and a Guilford firefighter remained at the Guilford fire station to page out firefighters in the event a fire was reported in the two regions. The communications at the tower have since been restored, but on Tuesday tree limbs disrupted the transmission from a communications tower on Geoff’s Corner in Dover-Foxcroft, according to Dave Roberts, the department’s communications supervisor. He said Tuesday he expected that tower would be on line later in the day.

CMP spokesman Gail Rice said Tuesday that about 2,100 CMP customers systemwide were still without power. Of those customers, about 551 were in Willimantic, Sangerville, Parkman, Ellliotsville Plantation and Dover-Foxcroft in Piscataquis County, and 581 were in the Dexter region in Penobscot County. In addition, there were 291 in Somerset County among other scattered outages in CMP’s coverage area.

Bangor Hydro spokesman Susan Faloon reported 4,598 customers were without power on Tuesday, of which 3,298 were in Piscataquis and northern Penobscot counties.

Crews from both companies faced extensive damage Tuesday as ice-covered tree limbs added weight to the ice-coated power lines, causing downed lines.

Bangor Hydro sent crews from Washington and Hancock counties to help restore power to northern Penobscot County, according to Faloon. She said there have been reports of customers cutting tree limbs near power lines to assist linemen, but cautioned that this is extremely dangerous. She urged customers to call Bangor Hydro rather than attempt to remove tree limbs.

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