Over 140,000 people lost power in Maine and New Hampshire because of Sunday night’s winter storm. Central Maine Power has reported over 83,000 outages due to the storm. The highest number of power outages in central Maine are in the Brunswick, Lewiston, and Portland areas. I live in coastal Maine and my power company, Bangor Hydro, has reported most of its power outages in rural communities.
This true Nor’easter blizzard hit my house late Sunday evening with a mix of rain and snow, which quickly turned into snow and high winds. My husband and I stayed awake for the duration of the storm, just in case anything went wrong.
By 10 p.m., the wind picked up and I could hear small tree limbs falling to the ground around my home. At midnight, the dogs wanted to go outside. When I attempted to push open the screen door, I realized just how much snow this storm had brought to my neck of the woods. A foot of snow had drifted to my doorstep. I pushed the door open just enough to let the dogs squeeze through. The big snow flakes were coming down fast and flying diagonally due to the high winds.
At 3 a.m., the real fun began. The electricity began flickering and within 15 minutes, we were in total darkness. I called my power company and reported the outage. We quickly grew bored of sitting in the dark so we decided to grab the dogs and drive to the local 24 hour gas station. After a bit of shoveling, we managed to get the car out of the driveway. We threw the snow shovel in the back seat, knowing we might need it later.
There was no one else on the road except the plow truck drivers (everyone else was smarter than us fools!). The roads were slippery, but the storm had subsided into a light snowfall. On the way to the store, we saw the trees and the power lines were weighed down by the snow. In a few yards, fallen trees had pushed the power lines to the ground.
The entire rural community in which we live had no electricity. The street lights were out and we saw candles through the windows of many houses. Luckily, the nearby town still had electricity. We made it safely to the gas station and bought hot chocolate, apple crumb cake, and Cadbury Eggs.
A man came in the store and we quickly struck up a conversation. His ‘old lady’ persuaded him to brave the blizzard to fetch her a cup of fresh coffee. They had also lost electricity in their rural home. We also talked to a plow guy who was taking a much needed coffee break.
We spent the next 2 hours surveying the damage around town, taking pictures, and shoveling friends driveways. We tried to visit my mother-in-law, but our car wouldn’t make it up any of the steep hills leading to her house. After repeatedly sliding backwards, we gave up. We got home just before sunrise and still didn’t have any electricity, so we got under the blankets, tried to stay warm, and fell asleep. I woke up at 2pm and was happy to see our power company had restored our power.
Both Central Maine Power and Bangor Hydro still have thousands of outages, but they are working quickly to restore power to everyone. More outages are expected later this afternoon as the winds pick up again. Some towns have opened schools, gymnasiums, and auditoriums to shelter those without power.
Bangor Daily News, ‘Snow knocks out power, shuts, schools’ by the Associated Press
Bangor Daily News, ‘Nor’easter sweeps into Maine’ by Nok-Noi Ricker
‘Central Maine Power Says 83,800 Homes Without Power’