Central Maine Power Restores Service to More than 100,000
Additional crews join storm recovery workforce
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A CMP crew works to repair storm damage on Winter Street in Topsham
AUGUSTA, Maine — October 31, 2017 — Central Maine Power Co. (CMP), a subsidiary of AVANGRID Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a diversified energy and utility company, has restored power to more than 115,000 customers who lost service after a wind and rain storm tore through the state earlier this week. By 4 p.m. Tuesday, outages had dropped to about 285,000, down from a peak of more than 400,000 the day before.
“Never in the history of our company – not even during the ice storm of 1998 -- have we seen so many outages from a single storm,” said CMP President and CEO Sara Burns. “Crews have made tremendous progress so far today, and that should continue into this evening.”
Earlier Tuesday, at a media briefing with Maine Emergency Management Agency, Burns announced that the company expected to have service restored to the majority customers by late Saturday. The only exceptions could be homes on remote camp lines and in areas where flooding or downed trees prevent access.
“Today our crews are restoring service to large customer groups fixing damage to transmission and major distribution lines,” said Burns. “We are also making progress on damage assessment, which, when complete, will give us the information we need to develop restoration estimates for specific cities and towns.”
The progress comes despite crews’ difficulties gaining access to many areas due to downed trees and flooding.
The company’s workforce of an estimated 1,500 people includes field personnel, tree clearing crews, line and substation repair crews, and safety, logistics, assessors, and mechanical repair personnel. Additional line and tree workers have been arriving today with more to follow from as far away as Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia.
“Our crews are working as quickly and safely as possible, and we ask people to refrain from approaching them with questions that can slow their work and create safety concerns,” said CMP spokesperson Gail Rice. “We encourage customers to go to our website for restoration updates, and let our crews focus on safety as they go about their tasks.”
CMP offers customers the following tips to stay safe and comfortable.
During a power interruption:
Power outages can be reported on line at CMP’s mobile-friendly website (https://m.cmpco.com/mt/ecmp.cmpco.com/WebOutage
) or by calling 1.800.696.1000. Our systems automatically create a work order and set the stage for dispatch of crews to the outage location.
When using an emergency heating source, like a wood stove, fireplace, or kerosene heater, keep fuels away from the flames and be sure to ventilate properly.
Never use grills or camp stoves indoors — they can give off dangerous gases.
Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible. Most food will last 24 hours or longer if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.
Turn off or unplug major appliances to avoid overloading circuits when power is restored.
For customers with generators:
Hire a licensed electrician to install permanent generators and transfer switches.
Properly ground all portable generators.
Carefully read and observe all instructions in your generator’s operating manual.
Never run a generator indoors, or even in an open garage.
If your carbon monoxide detector goes off – get out of the building immediately and call 911.
Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it’s running.
After Power Is Restored
Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading circuits.
If a basement or home was flooded, have an electrician check the home before contacting CMP to have services turned on.
Replenish any emergency supplies used during the storm.
The company urges customers to use caution if they see downed lines.
“Everyone should stay clear of any downed power lines or fallen trees that may be tangled in the lines,” said Rice. “All downed lines should be considered live and dangerous. Customers should leave the clean-up to our crews, who are trained and equipped to handle these situations safely.”
CMP also reminds drivers to use caution when approaching utility crews. The working conditions are difficult, and the workers appreciate everyone’s consideration for their safety.
Additional information on storm safety and restoration, including a town-by-town listing of outages in the CMP service area with an area map, can be found on CMP’s web site at www.cmpco.com.
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About AVANGRID: AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) is a diversified energy and utility company with more than $31 billion in assets and operations in 27 states. The company owns regulated utilities and electricity generation assets through two primary lines of business, Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid Networks is comprised of eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving approximately 3.2 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables operates more than 6 gigawatts of owned and controlled renewable generation capacity, primarily through wind and solar, in 22 states across the United States. AVANGRID employs approximately 6,800 people. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.
About CMP: Central Maine Power Company (CMP) is a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR). As Maine’s largest electricity transmission and distribution utility, CMP serves 618,000 homes and businesses, representing about 80% of Maine’s customer base. J.D. Power and Associates has ranked the company #1 in customer satisfaction seven times. For more information, visit www.cmpco.com.