Bangor Hydro says extreme cold led to ice build-up that snapped wires in Milford, Mariaville

Posted Dec. 17, 2013, at 1 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 17, 2013, at 3:23 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The cold snap gripping Maine snapped power lines in Milford and Mariaville, leaving several hundred Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. customers without electricity for a few hours Tuesday morning, according to a spokesman for the utility.

Bangor Hydro spokesman Bob Potts said condensation from nearby bodies of water collected and froze on the lines in the frigid air. The weight of the ice caused the breaks.

Potts said the utility has 5,700 miles of line and the two breaks Tuesday were unusual.

“The bodies of water near the lines were warmer than the air, which is what led to the vapor and condensation [that turned to ice],” Potts said.

Temperatures in much of Maine were well below zero Tuesday morning. The broken line in Milford affected 1,319 customers in Penobscot County while the Mariaville break affected 361 customers in Hancock County, according to Potts.

Potts said the broken lines were repaired by midmorning.

“If you see a downed line, don’t go near it. Report it,” Potts said.

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information provided by Bangor Hydro. A break occurred in Mariaville, not Lamoine, and affected 361 customers in Hancock County, not 29.

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