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Heavy winds wreak havoc across the state

Thousands were left without power, and falling trees and limbs damaged homes and cars.
Versant Power crews are working to restore power to nearly 1,000 customers who lost service as...
Versant Power crews are working to restore power to nearly 1,000 customers who lost service as a result of high winds and downed trees.(WAGM)
Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 6:05 PM EST
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Maine (WABI) - Heavy winds across the state and snow to our north caused a lot of issues Tuesday.

A barge broke loose and crashed into the Rockland Breakwater.

Northern Maine saw whiteout conditions.

Thousands were left without power, and falling trees and limbs damaged homes and cars.

“This weather has brought down a lot of trees which makes travel difficult not only for everyone but for our crews trying to travel from place to place and make repairs,” said Judy Long, communications manager for Versant Power.

Versant and Central Maine Power are working quickly to restore outages across the state, but safety is a top concern for their crews.

“Not only is the wind chill sub zero, but the wind itself presents an issue for safety of our crews. We can’t put people up off the ground in bucket trucks with the wind in the 40-50 mile per hour range, so we have to repair what we can from the ground,” said Catharine Hatnett with Central Maine Power.

Catharine Hartnett with CMP says falling limbs and trees are the number one cause of outages, but there’s only so much they can do.

“We spend over 20-million dollars a year trimming trees, and we do it on a very regular basis and on a very specific schedule. We are limited on how we can trim our trees. We can trim 15 feet above a line and eight feet next to a line,” said Hartnett.

Judy Long with Versant Power says they are keeping an eye on storm frequency to make updates as needed.

“We’re looking at replacing our assets to make them more weather resistant - taller stronger poles, putting in more devices that minimize the effect and impacts of outages,” said Long.

Strong winds create difficulty for power companies as one area gets restored - several others go out.

But both companies say they will continue to work until everyone has their power back.

“An outage is an outage. It’s inconvenient for our customers, and we work to get them corrected as fast as we can,” said Hartnett.

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