NEWS Northeasterly winds bring power outages, accidents Saturday

Northeasterly winds bring power outages, accidents Saturday

More than 100,000 Maine Central customers were without power as the first major snowstorm of the season swept through the region Friday night into Saturday.

By Saturday afternoon, CMP reported power restoration to about 43,000 customers.As of 5:55 p.m., approximately 108,700 customers were affected, with 65,000 customers without power

Parking bans caused more than 100 vehicles to be towed in Lewiston and Auburn Friday night and early Saturday as weather and accidents continue to impact central and southern Maine.

Parts of Andros Coggin County had 4 inches of snow at dawn and up to 18 inches in others. Maine received a winter storm warning at 10:12 a.m. Saturday, with the National Weather Service predicting another 1 to 3 inches of snow for the Lewiston-Auburn area, with the warning expected to end Sunday at 12 a.m.

Central Maine Power issued a statement stating that crews are doing everything they can to restore power; however, many communities remain impassable. More than 1,000 resources including 200 CMP line workers, 220 contract line workers and 238 tree workers are in the system and 90 backup line workers will arrive later in the evening, said Kerri Therriault, director of power operations for CMP. 28 excavation trucks are currently replacing utility poles.

“This will be a multi-day restoration effort, and some customers in some of the hardest-hit, more remote areas may experience power outages Monday night or early Tuesday,” Therriault said.

As of 5:55 p.m. Saturday, CMP reported 13,472 customers without power in Androscoggin County; 10,057 in Cumberland County; 2,977 in Franklin County; 6,928 in Kennebec County; and 20,827 in Oxfordshire.

At 5:55 p.m., 2,683 customers were without power in Auburn and 1,942 in Lewiston, with all streets still under assessment as of early afternoon as the number of outages continued to fluctuate across the region. Other Androscoggin County towns with severe power outages include Turner, with 1,859 people offline at 5:55 p.m.; Poland, 1,924; Greene, 1,032; Leeds, 906; Durham, 185; Minot, 641; Livermore Falls, 528; Livermore, 550; Sabatus, 475; Artisan Falls, 316; Wales, 331; Lisbon, 87. Fayette, Hartford, Hebron, Jay and New Gloucester also have some offline clients.

A tractor trailer overturned on Sawyer Road in Greene on Friday night. Andros Coggin County Sheriff’s Department

Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson said deputies had been “on the phone” since Friday night responding to the incident. Accidents on Sawyer Road in Green and Route 197 in Wales led to road closures and reopened at 8.25am on Saturday.

Green’s accident brought emergency crews to a tractor trailer. The truck’s cab stood upright on the embankment, and the trailer twisted badly across the width of Sawyer Road. By that time Friday, there was about an inch of snow in the area, which officials blamed for the accident.

The Auburn Walmart was closed all day Saturday due to a power outage. Mara Hoffman/The Sun

Auburn Walmart’s parking lot is a full day of vehicle rotation, coming in and leaving after being told the store is closed. A Lowe’s employee told The Sun that her store and the Walmart across the street were without power at around 9am on Saturday. She said Lowe’s generators came on shortly after she arrived, but the Walmart was without power all day. A Walmart store manager said their store had been without power since 11 a.m. They did not say whether their stores had backup generators or if any food was missing.

Lt. Derrick St. Laurent of the Lewiston Police Department said the parking ban came into effect at 1 a.m. Saturday to allow evacuations ahead of a later-than-forecast storm. The biggest reason for the tow trucks to start quickly at 1am is to take into account that the tow truck drivers don’t want to wait for a big drift to block their way and want to avoid the plow trucks waiting to be removed. The ban ends at 1pm on Saturday.

“We do everything we can to let people know that the parking ban is coming into effect. We use social media, our web page. We try to let people know ahead of time that they have to move their vehicles.”

Auburn’s parking ban went into effect at 9 p.m. on Friday for similar reasons, and the tow has been in progress since then. Auburn police said via social media there were more than a dozen incidents in and after 6 a.m. No one was seriously injured and many vehicles were on the road. The city urged residents to abide by the ban until it ends at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Auburn Police said in a Facebook post: “As the ‘first storm of the season’ passes, it’s been a very good storm and it’s not quite over yet. There are many downed power lines and tree branches. Residents are encouraged to stay safe stay at home, leave Roads give Auburn Public Works the opportunity to do what they do best. “

Some streets in Andros Coggin County have estimated when power will be restored. Residents can check CMP’s outage list to see when power is expected to return to a particular street. They are organized by county, town and street at

Officials said the snow could continue into the evening, with a 70 percent chance of snow showers after midnight. The National Weather Service predicts temperatures will remain above the 20s on Sunday.

The forecast for the rest of the week bounces in the mid-20s and mid-30s with strong wind gusts on Sunday and Monday and mostly sunny days until Thursday night with a 70% chance of snow. There is an 80% chance of snow on Friday morning and rain in the evening.

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