Lincoln County EMA chief: Power could be out more than a week for some

Posted:  Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - 3:15pm

Emergency Management Director Casey Stevens said Lincoln County was surprisingly hard hit by Sunday night’s storm. “Almost everyone was out of power at some point in Lincoln County. The (county’s) coastal and elevated areas were hit the hardest, and in those areas, residents should be prepared to be without power for at least a week.” He added that locally, more people lost power than in the 1998 ice Storm. Some people could be without power more than a week due to the large number of trees and lines down, and the fact that several roads were closed.

“At noon on Monday, there were 71 roads closed in Lincoln County” including parts of Routes 32, 17, 27 and 129, he said. And phone service was out in parts of Alna, Jefferson, Bristol and Bremen.

The EMA opened warming centers across the county. Some were being powered by the government surplus generators the agency got last year. The only cost for them was the transport cost. The Wiscasset Community Center opened a shelter offering showers, a place to plug in electronic devices and, on Monday night, a hot meal.

Stevens reminded residents to be cautious when using generators, and make sure they are always operated outdoors, in open air. “They should also be away from structures. They shouldn’t be in a breezeway or garage, even if it’s open, and you shouldn’t try to refuel them while they’re operating. In the last few years, several Midcoast residents have died from carbon monoxide, or been made seriously ill, trying to refuel a running generator. Care should also be taken with supplemental heating sources, such as wood stoves, kerosene heaters, and propane heaters, and alternative cooking sources, such as camp stoves.  Make sure these things are safe and are vented properly,” he said.

Central Maine Power is focusing first on hospitals, senior homes and nursing homes and other places many vulnerable people are located, as well as fire departments, police stations and other first responder sites. Some businesses, especially those selling gas and ice, are getting power back faster than residential neighborhoods.

“I’d like to ask everyone to check on your neighbors when it is safe to do so,” Stevens said.