With much of the city without power, Bangor officials on Tuesday asked families to delay trick-or-treating until later in the week — but some parents took their kids out anyway, despite the city’s warning.
In Bangor, about 7,912 customers were without power as of 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Emera Maine’s estimates. Though some neighborhoods were spared — including much of Bangor Gardens, the Thomas Hill area and downtown — a majority were not. Representatives from Emera stated that Bangor residents could expect power to be 90 percent restored by Friday evening.
The city released a statement early Tuesday afternoon encouraging residents to trick-or-treat on Friday, Nov. 3, instead of Halloween night. City officials believe power will be fully restored by the end of the week.
“A lack of street lighting and house lighting combined with low hanging power lines and storm debris contribute to unsafe trick-or-treating conditions in Bangor this evening,” Bangor Police Chief Mark Hathaway said in the statement.
Several power lines were down on Bangor’s West Side on Tuesday afternoon, with many still lying in the streets. Many parents of neighborhood kids chose to heed the city’s recommendations and keep them off the street Tuesday evening, others quickly opted to organize a safe group trick-or-treating outing, avoiding potentially dangerous areas.
“It’s just a group of Vine Street School students and their parents. Nothing formal,” said Eric Mihan, who lives just off Hammond Street with his wife and two kids. “It’s just with the downed lines, we really want to keep the kids under control and safe. I think we, locally, are playing it as it goes. I also just saw how my daughter reacted when we broached the topic. Princess superheroes are not easily dissuaded.”
Many parents brought their children out to trick-or-treat on Maple Street, Bangor’s No. 1 trick-or-treating neighborhood. Residents of the street said they would soldier on despite the city’s concerns, including starting festivities a little earlier than usual, and stocking up on candles to light the way. There were no downed power lines on the street, so residents were inclined to still give it a shot.
By 5 p.m., Maple Street sidewalks were filled with kids — not as many as in typical years, where between 2,000 and 3,000 people show up, but still a significant number given the power outages and last-minute warnings from the city.
“There’s less than other years, yeah, but we’re making do. We have a generator going,” said Kim Rogers, a Maple Street resident who was giving out candy.
Kim McCall Vicnaire, who with her husband, Chris Buck, has for years set up a talking skeleton named “Dead Fred” on their front lawn, went ahead as planned — with improvised power.
“We are setting up what we can with a makeshift battery hooked to our car,” said Vicnaire. “We can’t do it on Friday, but others will be set up on Friday if people do show up then.”
Others were somewhat pleased by the lack of power on Halloween.
“Honestly, it’s kind of fun. Halloween is supposed to be a spooky holiday. As long as people are safe about it,” said Katherine Appleyard, who just moved onto Maple Street with her husband, Ben, and two kids. “And if we have a reprisal on Friday, we have some more candy squirreled away.”
The cities and towns of Old Town, Topsham, Yarmouth, Richmond, Biddeford, Wiscasset, Bath and Brunswick also postponed their official trick-or-treating to Friday. Other towns and cities, including Augusta, Freeport and Portland, didn’t let the storm’s aftermath stop them — though city officials in those municipalities issued cautions to trick-or-treaters, urging them to be careful on streets where lights were still out.
Waldo County as of around 5:45 p.m. Tuesday still had about 50 percent of customers without power, according to Central Maine Power — but Cedar Street in Belfast, another highly popular trick-or-treating destination, had all power restored.