Power companies prepare ahead of windy, wet Christmas storm

A Christmas storm threatens power lines across the state with high winds.
A Christmas storm threatens power lines across the state with high winds.(WHSV)
Published: Dec. 24, 2020 at 5:31 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The forecast calls for a wet and windy Christmas instead of a white one. Power companies are prepping, and you should too.

”We’re staffed up and ready to go.” says Central Maine Power President and CEO Douglas Herling.

CMP is on the lookout for the high winds and rain that could knock out power for Mainers across the state.

“We have one hundred line crews that will be coming in tomorrow morning at 5am and we have 90 tree crews and 75 line contractor crews that will be on the ground when the storm starts.” says Herling.

Versant Power is also standing by to reconnect customers if the lights go out. Judy Long, Communications Manager, says they’re ready.

“We’ve been working all week to make sure we have our resources lined up. We’ve got power system technicians, line workers, and all the support staff ready to go Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to restore power safely and as quickly as possible.”

The strong winds expected during the storm may delay the restoration of power, especially along the coast, where gusts may reach 65 miles per hour.

“The line workers cannot go up in the buckets if the wind is blowing more than 45 miles an hour for safety reasons.” says Herling.

While the crews are working, folks at home should be prepared for potential outages.

“Flashlights, batteries, water.” Says Long. “Charge up those cell phones tonight if possible.”

It’s worth running through emergency plans with your family, talk about what you’ll do if power goes out, or if a fire starts. Bangor Assistant Fire Chief Chandler Corriveau wants people to stay safe.

“Obviously, if you lose power and you’re on generator, you don’t want to be running your generator inside. You want to make sure that’s away from your home. If you have to fuel it up, you should let it cool off a little bit before you put fuel in.”

Should the worst occur and a fire starts in your home, get out, call 911, and do not reenter the building.

“I can’t stress enough to have working smoke detectors and to sleep with your door closed.” says Corriveau. “That makes a world of difference.”

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