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Thousands Still Without Power in Maine and More Bad Weather is on the Way
12/27/2013   Reported By: Jennifer Mitchell

Damage from this week's ice storm, for some areas at least, is approaching levels seen during the "big" ice storm of 1998. That's according to officials from Bangor Hydro who briefed Senator Susan Collins on the situation this afternoon.

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Areas hardest hit include parts of Hancock and Washington Counties, as well as lower Penobscot County. Bangor Hydro spokesperson Susan Falloon said it's been a long week for everyone.

"It's been a long period of time, we understand that, and with the cold temperatures and that sort of thing, you know, it can be a very trying time, but our crews have continued to work around the clock," Faloon said.

Still, tempers have flared; one crew was pulled off a shift in Surry after a disgruntled consumer allegedly made death threats against the workers if they didn't get his power back on soon.

And things have been busy for Central Maine Power as well.

"Driving up my road earlier, there were trees just hanging down on top of the power lines," said CMP customer Ina Hollins of Northport. She was in the dark for five days, and while her power has come back on now, she's busy filling water jugs and making preparations should it go off again. Hollins said there are literally hundreds of branches broken or ready to break, and with six to fourteen inches of snow predicted for Sunday and Monday.

Officials with CMP estimate that their repairs should be complete for the most part by Saturday night.

In some of the hardest hit areas of Eastern Maine, some Bangor Hydro customers may not have their power back until Wednesday night.

"I know how difficult it is to be without power, particularly during the holiday season," said Senator Susan Collins.

She was without power for several hours herself and she said she's standing by to offer whatever assistance she can to help Maine's utilities including smoothing the way for Canadian crews, which are currently en route from Nova Scotia to help with restorations. Collins said she advises anyone at risk from cold to seek shelter with organizations like the Red Cross, and to stay in touch with utility companies.

"Be patient and realize that every possible effort is being made," Collins said.

And with more snow on the way, utility officials are advising Mainers to take some extra precautions, as bad travel conditions may further impede restoration times in the early part of the week.


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