Both Emera Maine and CMP are reporting thousands of residents are starting their week with no electricity.

The hot question among coworkers today is if they lost power over the weekend, and for how many hours they were out. In my case, the answers are 'yes' and '27 hours.' Our electricity went out at around 5:00 Saturday night, when a large tree fell in Orrington and cut off a power pole. It was restored at 8:00 Sunday evening when Emera Maine crews restored the lines, after a new pole was put up.

As of 6:36 this morning, Emera Maine reported 2959 customers still without power, while Central Maine Power had 3,898 customers in the dark. Crews have been working around the clock, but it's another challenging situation, like we had last year at this time. Most outages were caused by isolated incidents, like in Orrington where we had trees falling on lines, or taking out poles. There's no 'magic switch' to turn the power on. Instead it's slow, painstaking work, replacing poles, removing trees, and restringing lines.

Residents are reminded that it's never safe to touch a downed line, and that they should leave the cleaning up of fallen trees to the experts. In addition, generators should be installed to factory specs, and the main electrical switch in houses shut off, to avoid injuring the linesman who's hooking the power back up.

Find more outage information on the Emera Maine and CMP websites.