1,800 EMEC members lose power in ice storm

Posted Dec. 15, 2008, at 8:23 p.m.

CALAIS, Maine — About 1,800 Eastern Maine Electric Cooperative members lost power during last week’s winter storm, as freezing rain coated trees and power lines across eastern Maine.

Ice accumulation of up to half an inch was reported, but EMEC crews were able to restore power to all members by approximately 5:30 p.m. Friday.

One cooperative line crew then headed to New Hampshire to assist New Hampshire Electric Cooperative.

“We were fortunate,” said communication manager Charlie McAlpin in a press release. “The icing was significant, but not as bad as what hit southern Maine and New Hampshire.”

The most difficult outage in the area affected approximately 700 homes in an area stretching from Topsfield west to Lakeville, Springfield and Kingman.

Extensive tree damage slowed progress, but crews were able to restore power to most customers in that area by midafternoon Friday.

Tree damage also cut power to the main circuit feeding Danforth, Weston and surrounding towns for a few hours Friday. Other outages affected individual streets and homes from Alexander and Cooper north to Amity. At one point, most EMEC customers in the Route 6 corridor were without power.

On Sunday morning, two EMEC line workers traveled to New Hampshire to help restore power at New Hampshire Electric Cooperative. The two EMEC employees are expected to work in New Hampshire for several days.

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