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Storm knocks out power to nearly half a million across state

Persistent high winds and strong gusts Monday knocked out power to nearly half a million utility customers across the state.

About 388,000 Central Maine Power customers were without electricity at about 10 a.m. Monday while 75,000 Emera Maine clients further up the coast and as far north as Fort Kent lost power, according to spokespeople for the companies.

With the winds continuing to blow, taking down trees and power lines, the outage numbers were only climbing while utility crews struggled to ground and de-energize downed lines so they don’t pose a threat to first responders or the public.

“We know we are looking at days,” rather than hours to complete repairs, said Mike Herrin, chief operating officer for Emera Maine. “Once the second wind peak hits this afternoon, and we are able to fully assess damage, we will better know what we are looking at for a restoration time.”

The company maintains a Live Outage & Restoration Map, which can be referenced for details as the day goes on.

More than 43,000 customers are affected in Penobscot County and another 25,000 in Hancock, according to Emera. Nearly 5,000 customers are affected in Piscataquis and parts of northern Penobscot County.

In Aroostook and Washington counties, another 1,700 customers are without power.

Motorists are urged to slow down or move over and change lanes, when possible, if approaching utility crews working on roadways. The public is reminded to never touch a downed power line or a tree in contact with a downed line, and never drive over one.

Customers who use generators or alternate heating sources are reminded to ensure they are used in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines at all times.

Customers may report outages via the Emera website or by calling (207) 973-2000 or 1-855-EMERA11 (1-855-363-7211).

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