State and power company officials on Thursday reminded Mainers to be extra cautious around linemen and tree crews working to restore power.

And that includes not walking up to working crews to offer hot coffee or food, or to ask them about how soon the lights will go on. Instead, the officials requested, let the crews focus on securing downed lines and restoring power to the tens of thousands of customers still in the dark.

Officials from the Maine Emergency Management Agency, Central Maine Power and Emera Maine spoke about safety during a news conference Thursday. They said giving gifts to crews or asking linemen when power will be restored can put them at risk and requires them to stop working because of safety concerns.

Drivers also should leave plenty of space when driving around work areas and watch for workers around bucket trucks, officials said.

They also warned Mainers not to place ladders against power lines to cut away trees or branches, even if that seems like it would be helpful. And power company officials repeated warnings that residents using generators should make sure they’re properly connected and aren’t putting power back into lines, which creates a safety hazard for crews working on lines they assume are dead.

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

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