PORTLAND, Maine — About 85,000 Maine electric customers are still without power Monday after the first major winter storm of the season brought heavy, wet snow and high winds to the region.
As of 4 p.m., Versant Power reported 2,543 customers across its service area had lost power, with the heaviest outages in Northern Penobscot/Piscataquis (2,349) counties. Outages were heavier in Central Maine Power’s service area, with 56,000 left in the dark. The bulk of those outages were in Oxford (10,797), Somerset (9,669), Kennebec (6,489) and Cumerberland (7,713) counties.
Central Maine Power, which accounted for about 127,000 of the outages in Maine, said officials were trying to determine how long it will take to restore power to all its customers. But based on historical comparisons to similar storms it could be three to five days before electricity service is fully restored.
“This storm caused significant tree and limb damage as a result of heavy, wet snow and strong winds,” CMP Executive Chairman David Flanagan said Sunday. “Crews worked hard overnight to ensure conditions were made safe, and those efforts will continue throughout the day today. Facing more wind today, our crews will work as quickly as possible to restore power to our customers.”
As of 7 p.m. Sunday, the top snowfall reports included Monson (15 inches), Chesuncook (14 inches), Blanchard (13.8 inches), Greenville(13.7) inches and Caribou (13.3 inches). Bangor, on the other hand, only saw about 2 inches of snowfall, according to the National Weather Service in Caribou.
So far this year, Caribou has totaled 20.7 inches of snow. The most snowfall Caribou has seen over a 2-day period was 27.7 inches on Dec. 26, 2005, compared to the 13.3 inches it got Sunday, according to NWS Caribou.
BDN writer Rosemary Lausier contributed to this report