Originally published in a special edition on Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Emergency personnel throughout Maine mobilized Tuesday morning, ratcheting up security at potential terrorist targets across the state.

Many state and federal facilities were shut down as statewide disaster plans kicked in.

All airports were closed as were state and federal courthouses, which were evacuated shortly after Tuesday morning’s bombings. Defense installations refused to let anyone enter or leave and state disaster preparedness plans were launched. The state’s top defense and public safety officials met with the governor in the hours after Tuesday’s attack.

In Portland, Fire Chief Martin Jordan was placed in control of the city and was working out of the city’s emergency operations center at the Public Works Department bunker with other department heads. Portland police were summoning off-duty officers into work and increasing patrols throughout the city.

“Right now, (emergency responders) have everything under control and everybody is very calm, as everyone in the city should be, ” said John Betty, Portland Fire Department spokesman. “We’ve been practicing for this kind of emergency and we’re prepared for it.”

Cumberland County’s Emergency Management Agency was in contact with municipal officials in each of the county’s community. The agency had shifted essential communications to radio because of the potential disruptions to the telephone system. A network of two dozen amateur ham-radio operators also was activated to assist in communications.

Across Maine, National Guardsmen, state police and other emergency personnel were implementing elements of a “weapons of mass destruction” plan that has been in development.

“Terrorists look for a place where they can make a statement, ” Maj. Gerald Dunlap of the Maine National Guard told the Press Herald a few months ago. He could not be reached for comment before press time Tuesday. “It doesn’t have to be New York City. It’s really not a matter of if something happens, it’s when and where and do you want to be the one that isn’t prepared.”

The state received a $500,000 grant earlier this year to identify potential terrorist targets, their vulnerability and the security that those installations should have.

Ten such targets exist in Cumberland County, though officials say they are prohibited from identifying them.

Two likely high-profile installations exist in South Portland: the Maine Mall and the petroleum tank farms.

“We’ve doubled up all of our patrols, ” said South Portland Police Chief Edward Googins. “We are making visits to the sites that are potential targets in this community, all of our vulnerable points.”

U.S. District Court Judge Gene Carter ordered all federal courts in Maine closed, said Chief Deputy John F. Cooper of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Cooper said the U.S. District Courts in Portland and Bangor and the federal bankruptcy court were all closed and all workers were evacuated, except for law enforcement personnel who stay on hand.

Business went on as usual in Maine state courts, and no closures were planned late Tuesday morning, said a court spokesman.

In Augusta, the state Capitol building and the state office building were closed Tuesday morning as “a precaution, ” said Lyunette Miller, senior planner for the Maine Emergency Management Agency. Miller said there had been no threat of danger at either building.

As of press time, Gov. Angus King was scheduled to hold a news conference about the national disaster and what measures needed to be taken here in Maine, said Miller.

In Portland, the Portland International Jetport was closed at around 9 a.m. by order of the Federal Aviation Administration, said Jeff Shultes, airport manager. Shultes said that all flights in or out of the airport would be put on hold until at least 6 p.m.

Security at the airport was “heightened” as it was at all of Portland’s waterfront port facilities, said Jeff Monroe, director of transportation for the city. Monroe said that, as a precaution, he would not say specifically what extra security measures had been taken.

Casco Bay ferries continued to operate, and marine traffic on Portland’s waterfront had not been disrupted, except that tankers were prohibited from coming and going.

In Kittery, officials at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard issued a statement saying “we have increased our security posture at the shipyard” but would not discuss details, based on the Navy’s security policy, said Jan Hussey, a public affairs aide at the shipyard.

At Bath Iron Works, which builds warships for the U.S. Navy, spokeswoman Sue Pierter said the company has been in contact with the Navy, which can dictate whether a higher level of security is required. She refused to say whether the Navy had ordered any increase in security or whether the military was sending any additional guards to the shipyard.