Central Maine Power says more than 600 line crews from outside Maine are headed to the state today to help restore electricity.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency held a press conference today to update residents on what's being done to recover from Monday's storm. Representatives from Central Maine Power and Emera Maine were in attendance, along with Adjutant General Douglas Farnham of the Maine National Guard, and representatives of the Maine Center for Disease Control. Overall, the tone was upbeat, with news that the response time for this storm is smoother and quicker than the Ice Storm of 1998. Considering that this storm has been deemed larger than the ice storm, officials are optimistic for a successful recovery.

Central Maine Power and Emera Maine both agreed that the goal is to have everyone's power restored by Saturday at the latest, with a few exceptions. Those would include miles-long camp roads and extremely remote locations. More than 600 line crews, from other areas, are arriving in Maine today, along with 300 tree crews to help speed that effort along. How soon power is restored to each individual location will depend on the amount of damage and proximity to populated areas. Power is restored to more populated areas first, to benefit larger numbers of customers at once.

Both utility company representatives urged residents to let line crews work, without being disturbed. While it's tempting to stop and chat, thanking them for their work, it's mandatory that they stop working while residents are nearby. This impedes their progress and will delay restoration of power. Emera Maine says there will be helicopter patrols passing over areas today to asses damage.

The Maine CDC urged Mainers to use their generators safely and avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition, they cautioned about food spoilage. With the mild weather over the next few days, it's going to be even more important to be mindful of the possibility of food going bad quickly.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency is working with FEMA to determine, going forward, what needs to be done to help with the recovery. They remind Mainers to check on neighbors and friends, especially the elderly who may not be able to access the things they need on their own. Use caution while driving and watch for debris on the road.

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