Residents still without power feel left in the dark, out in the cold

Posted Feb. 01, 2013, at 7:58 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 02, 2013, at 6:43 a.m.
A crew from Bangor Hydro works to restore power along Huston Lane in Eddington on Friday. Nicole Hanson, who lives on Route 9 in Eddington, posted lime green signs drawing attention to downed power lines in hopes of getting swift attention to being without power for over 24 hours. Her power was restored at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
A crew from Bangor Hydro works to restore power along Huston Lane in Eddington on Friday. Nicole Hanson, who lives on Route 9 in Eddington, posted lime green signs drawing attention to downed power lines in hopes of getting swift attention to being without power for over 24 hours. Her power was restored at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Buy Photo

BREWER, Maine — A few residents were feeling like they’d been left in the dark and out in the cold Friday, especially those watching Bangor Hydro Electric Co. trucks and vehicles traveling back and forth while the electricity at their houses was still off.

“Our power’s been out since 8:30 Thursday morning,” said Chris Dore, a Brewer firefighter who lives on Wiswell Road with his wife and three children. “When we called them at noon [Friday], they had just put some sections of Dedham back online and were working their way back, but I haven’t seen a truck today.”

Nicole Hanson had seen several trucks driving up and down North Main Street in front of her home all day Friday, but that only frustrated her further as she waited for electricity to be restored.

“Sometimes when they go back and forth like that, they’re making repairs at one end of the line, but they have to patrol the line to find where the problem is,” said Susan Faloon, spokeswoman for Bangor Hydro. “And the problem may not have been right near her house.”

In the meantime, Hanson bought some lime-green poster board, wrote signs that said “Hydro No Power” and “Still No Power Hydro,” and posted them to mailboxes and telephone poles in front of a half-dozen homes in her neighborhood that still were powerless in an attempt to catch the attention of the Hydro crews as they drove by.

“It was either that or hot pink, so I figured I’d go with that color,” Hanson said with a laugh.

A Hydro crew arrived Friday afternoon and began working on lines off North Main on Houston Road. The supervisor said he hoped to have power restored by Friday night, but it came back on quicker than expected.

Hanson, who had been using a generator to alternately power the heater, refrigerator and her computer and lights, said her power came back on around 5:30 p.m.

Dore, however, still was waiting.

“We just left the house and the power’s still out,” he said at 6:20 p.m. Friday. “We packed up the dogs and went to my parents house on Oak Grove. If it goes much longer, I’ll probably be out looking for a generator.

“It’s down to 42 degrees in the house and we’re usually around 73 in the day and 65 at night.”

Dore said a tree that fell down and and ripped down power lines still is leaning against lines and a telephone pole about a third of the way up Copeland Hill on Wiswell Road with traffic cones around it.

“We are expecting to have a few people in Penobscot County still without power tonight, but we do have more crews on overnight than we normally do tonight to keep plugging away at it,” Faloon said. “We can estimate service restoration times, but it all depends on what they find at the repair sites as far as how bad the damage is.

“When I left the office around 5[p.m.], we were down to around 950 customers and it’s probably less now. They were really hammering away at it. It’s all hands on deck.”

As of 7 p.m., that number had decreased to 530, but that was spread out among 48 towns, with all but one location having more than 21 individual outages. The largest remaining power outage area was Pembroke with 122 customers in the dark. By Saturday morning, the number had further decreased to 305.

The numbers were similar for Central Maine Power, which had 980 customers in 10 counties without power as of 7:10 p.m. The largest outage areas were in Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties with 183 and 179 customers without power, respectively.

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