Windy storm causes thousands of power outages Thursday

Published: Feb. 27, 2020 at 6:55 PM EST
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Sleet, snow and freezing rain made for hazardous travel, and the winds caused wide spread power outages.

"It's not so much the precipitation. It really is the winds making the biggest impact," said Judy Long, Emera Maine Communications Specialist.

Long says not only do high winds cause power outages, they make it hard to restore power.

"When the winds are this high, we cannot allow our workers to go up in buckets when the winds remain this strong because it would put them in danger, so we would just ask people, we're going to be out there, we're going to work to restore your power, but we would just ask that people will just have to be a little bit patient," she said.

The wind also creates barriers for crews and first responders. These pictures were taken by CMP line crews.

"The first part of any storm is clearing debris and lines from the road so that our emergency management first responders can make sure that they get through," said Catharine Hartnett, Communications Manager for CMP.

With the storm in the forecast, Emera and CMP officials were able to get extra help ahead of time.

"We've had 85 CMP crews supplemented by 70 contractors. We work all year long to maintain clearance from those lines, but sometimes in very strong winds, large branches can fall or be blown into the system and that will cause an outage," said Hartnett.

They say public safety is always a priority.

"If you see a downed line, call Emera Maine, call first responders if it's in a public place such as a road, and never touch a downed line, and never touch a tree because that tree can become energized with electricity," said Long.