Faulty switch at Detroit substation blamed for leaving more than 11,000 without power

Posted March 01, 2012, at 11:54 a.m.

DETROIT, Maine — A faulty switch at a Central Maine Power substation in Detroit caused power to be knocked out to more than 11,000 residents on Wednesday night.

The switch malfunctioned at 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, affecting five circuits that go out of that substation, CMP spokeswoman Gail Rice said Thursday morning. Power was restored to the customers at 11:31 p.m., she said.

Rice said power was knocked out to CMP customers in Carmel, Corinth, Dixmonth, Etna, Exeter, Levant, Newburgh, Stetson, Hermon, Corinna, Newport, Palmyra, Plymouth and St. Albans. In all, 11,744 accounts were affected.

Palmyra resident Pastor Bruce Perron told the Bangor Daily News on Wednesday night that the instant notification feature on his new digital reader didn’t work. The feature is designed to let CMP know if there’s an outage.

“There’s the meters and there are a lot of other equipment to help transmit signals. We’re still in the process of installing and getting that equipment up and running,” Rice said. “The system that’s being installed is incredibly complex and we’re still in the process of getting all of these devices to talk to each other.”

Rice said the new system should be fully functional later this year.

“People should still call in an outage if the lights go out, even if their neighbors are also without power,” she said.

Central Maine Power has more than 600,000 accounts and covers more than 11,000 square miles in Maine.