Broken Utility Poles Total More Than 500 Statewide
The number of utility poles broken as the result of this week's storm total more than 500 across the state, which is one of the obstacles crews are facing as they work to restore power.
The Maine Emergency Management Agency has dubbed this weather event 'Wind Storm 17.' Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland says crews from Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, West Virginia, Indiana, and Kentucky are currently helping with power restoration efforts, as well as several crews from Canada. 25 to 30 more crews are headed this way, as well. The picture (above) shows out-of-state power crews getting their assignments this morning in York.
McCausland says there are 568 broken utility poles in the state, which is a massive job on its own, let alone then replacing the lines. Some of the out-of-state crews are spending all their time, making their way across the state, replacing those poles. Both CMP and Emera Maine say they expect good progress today because of the clear, calm weather, but are stressing that residents should not interrupt the crews by stopping to talk.
Drivers are warned to be on alert at all Amtrak and Pan Am railroad crossings that are still without power. The signals or crossing gates at those sites aren't working and so motorists need to cross those tracks cautiously.
Finally, while it's a Mainer's inclination to take matters into their own hands, the utility companies warn that clearing downed trees with power lines still running through them is extremely dangerous. The line may be dead when you start, but with power being restored at such a rapid rate, could become active while you're handling it. It's best to just leave that work to the professionals.