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Maine Public reported Monday that Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, chairman of the Legislature's Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, plans to schedule hearings in the new year to find out why it took so long for Maine's two primary utilities, Central Maine Power and Emera Maine, to restore power after the Oct. 30 storm. More than 450,000 customers were without power at the peak of the storm, which was accompanied by gusts of more than 60 mph and heavy rains. It took the better part of the week for the utilities to completely restore service to all of their customers, even with the deployment of more than 3,000 tree-clearing, line and substation repair crews.
Despite the magnitude of the storm and resulting damage — which exceeded that of the 1998 ice storm — do you think the utilities' power restoration efforts took too long?
Comments

11/21/17 AT 04:15 PM
The bigger question is why do we can continue to have rate hikes to pay for repairs on the same lines over and over again. We live in the state of Maine, the Pine Tree State no less, where wind, rain, snow and downed trees is a given. Shouldn't we be spending that money on burying lines?

11/15/17 AT 02:40 PM
With climate change causing bigger and more frequent storms, utilities should begin burying power lines in more populated areas. We're losing millions of dollars every few years because of five-day outages. Something must be done.

11/15/17 AT 01:34 PM
Given the extent of the damage here and the fact that mutual aid utilities' resources are probably still devoted to hurricane repair down south, I think CMP and Emera did an acceptable job. That's easy for me to say, I didn't lose power. I'm sure those who had to wait for 7-8 days to get power may disagree.

11/15/17 AT 01:24 PM
The amount of damage done to the lines and poles by trees that had compromised root systems (due to the drought), was extensive. Our area alone was without power for 6 full days, and I was frankly surprised (and incredibly thankful) to get it back that early given the amount of clean-up work that had to be done.

11/15/17 AT 12:58 PM
I thought they did a fantastic job. In our area there were enormous trees down everywhere impacting the lines and winds of almost 80 mph. Everywhere you went there were crews out working. This was an unusual storm and recovery from unusual events takes time — that's life. But someone always has to complain I guess.

11/15/17 AT 12:31 PM
This is a fool's errand. CMP and their partners did an incredible job given the scope and magnitude of the damage. I'd suggest a better use of our legislators' time would be to focus on things that really matter ... like reducing the size of state government, reducing taxes ....

11/15/17 AT 12:19 PM
Of course not. We are too conditioned to being appeased through instant gratification. I think they did the best they could.

11/15/17 AT 12:18 PM
It seems like they were skipping all over the place and didn't stay in an area to get it back on grid. We live in an area that has 8 side roads off the main road. The main road and 6 of those side roads got power back on Tuesday night, but they didn't do the 2 in the middle and there was one tree that had come down that needed to be cut ... when they were literally 1/4 of a mile away on the main road cutting a tree. We saw tree trucks on the other side roads but not ours. It needs to be better coordinated. Those last 2 side roads got power back on Saturday night by some line workers from Maryland!!

11/15/17 AT 12:11 PM
They've done very well; the '98 ice storm didn't involve whole trees falling on lines.

11/15/17 AT 12:06 PM
I think that the response was appropriate for a rural state with so many miles of power lines. In comparison to the 1998 ice storm, where many people went without power for much longer than a week, I would say that this recovery was handled very well. Also, unlike the ice storm, this event had wider impacts to many more customers, but didn't cause the same level of destruction to the power infrastructure. If it had, we'd still be waiting for service to be restored. If we all want a faster recovery from events such as this, then we'd better be ready to pay for it in our rates as more line workers will need to be sitting on their hands waiting for another event to occur. For me, I think Maine's rates are already plenty high. The Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee should find a more productive use of its time and taxpayers' dollars.
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