A Central Maine Power Co. worker snips a branch on wires in Topsham Monday morning. Extra utility crews have arrived from Canada and out of state and CMP reports the storm recovery is approaching the half-way mark. DARCIE MOORE/THE TIMES RECORD

A Central Maine Power Co. worker snips a branch on wires in Topsham Monday morning. Extra utility crews have arrived from Canada and out of state and CMP reports the storm recovery is approaching the half-way mark. DARCIE MOORE/THE TIMES RECORD

TOPSHAM

As storm clean up and power restoration efforts continue around the Midcoast, local officials are releasing information on progress and have announced warming and charging stations.

According to a press release issued by the town of Topsham Wednesday, as of just before noon about 1,231 Topsham customers are still without power, out of approximately 4,900 total customers. Last night, the number of outages was 3,000, and it was 1,400 earlier this morning, so a significant number were brought on-line last night. A 20-person crew from Quebec has recently come into the area to assist CMP with the restoration efforts.

According to CMP, it has passed the halfway point in its recovery from the wind and rain storms that hit Maine earlier this week. At 4 p.m. Wednesday, an estimated 190,000 homes and businesses remained without service following a wind and rain storm that hit Maine earlier this week. That is down from a peak of 404,000 at midday Monday. 

“This storm has been unprecedented; no single storm has caused a higher number of outages,” said CMP President and CEO Sara Burns. “We restored service to more than 100,000 customer accounts yesterday and expect good progress today towards our Saturday goal to complete the restoration in all but a few remote or inaccessible locations.”

The company expects to have service restored to the majority of customers by late Saturday. The only exceptions could be homes on remote camp lines and in areas where flooding or downed trees prevent access. Preliminary estimated restoration times will be listed when they’re available on the company’s website: http://www.cmpco.com/outages/outageinformation.html.

The company’s workforce of an estimated 1,800 people includes tree clearing crews, line and substation repair crews, and safety, logistics, assessors, and mechanical repair personnel. Additional line and tree workers have come from as far away as Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia.

“Our crews are working as quickly and safely as possible, and we ask people to refrain from approaching them with questions that can slow their work and create safety concerns,” said CMP spokesperson Gail Rice. “We encourage customers to go to our website for restoration updates, and let our crews focus on safety as they go about their tasks.”

Topsham officials reminded the public that any down line is assumed to have power in it, so don’t touch, move or drive over any downed lines. Public safety personnel have also warned people running chain saws not to cut into any tree that is touching a power line.

As far as the roads, Topsham Public Works has been diligent in clearing roads, as soon as power issues have been resolved, according to the press release. If trees are into lines and blocking roads, public works  has closed the road, but can’t deal with the trees until the power has been addressed by CMP.

As of noon Wednesday, there are several roads that are still closed due to downed lines or trees into lines blocking the roadway: Pleasant Point Road, West Wind Road, Ward Road and Merrill Road.

Other roads still have debris alongside the road, or low lines, but are passable. Where hazards exist such as low lines, crews have tried to mark them.

The American Legion Post 202 at 79  Foreside Road in Topsham has power and is open to the public. According to its Facebook page, the post will serve warm meals Today and Thursday starting at 3:30 p.m. and has offered to deliver for folks who can’t get to the post.

Topsham has opened the Police Department lobby as a warming station, with charging capabilities for devices, and we have opened up a temporary water spigot outside the Police Department as well.

The Topsham Public Library is open as warming station, with Wi-Fi and charging.

The School Administrative District 75  Board of Directors and Superintendent have decided to  open the Mt. Ararat High School’s gym and locker rooms as warming areas with showers from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. tonight (Nov. 1). 

SAD 75 reminds people to bring their own towel if showering. There will also be plenty of outlets to charge phones and running water to fill containers. The school will also have public Internet access available.

Topsham has received a couple of calls about opening an over-night shelter. If one is opened, it would be done through and in conjunction with, the Sagadahoc Emergency Management Office. The Sagadahoc EMA is looking at the county-wide need for a shelter, and is considering options should a shelter become necessary. 

The Topsham release also notes that the transfer station is open, although there is no power or phone service. It is accepting both solid waste and recycling, and storing both on site. 

“We are making contingency plans for additional storage capacity if power doesn’t come back on line,” the update states. “As of today, Nov. 1, the winter hours at Solid Waste revert to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

While several traffic signals at various intersections have been operated by generators, as of noon today, only the lights at Route 196 and Bypass Drive are still being powered by a generator.

Areas around Sagadahoc County running warming and charging shelters include:

• Bath Foursquare Church, 405 Centre St. — 24/7 shelter, staffed by American Red Cross. Food, water, restrooms, sleeping, charging, medical device charging, fully staffed. Open at 6 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 1) until no longer needed, approximately Saturday.  Cots, blankets and dinner will be available. Residents staying at the shelters should bring their own hygiene items and any medicines or durable medical devices they need. They may want to bring their own other bedding materials, such as sheets and pillows.

• Bath YMCA — Warming, charging, access to water and showers. Hours Mon-Fri 5am-9pm, Sat 7am-3pm and Sun 9am-1pm.

• Bowdoinham Fire Department — Warming, charging, access to water and showers. Daily until 6pm.

• Topsham Public Safety Building — Warming, charging and access to water in the main entrance area accessible 24 hours.

• Topsham Public Library, Foreside Road — Warming, charging and Wi-Fi. Open during normal business hours.

• Mt. Ararat High School — Open from 4pm-8pm Wednesday for a place to shower and charge your phones.

• Woolwich Fire Department — Warming, charging, access to water and showers. Daily until 7am to 7pm.

• Phippsburg Fire Department — Warming, charging, access to water, and showers. 9am to 5:30pm.

• Georgetown Community Center, 19 Old Schoolhouse Road — Warming, charging. Open to residents of Georgetown 24/7 as needed.

In Cumberland County:

• Brunswick — For those seeking a warm place and a shower, the Brunswick Recreation Center on Brunswick Landing is open Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 8PM and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 AM to 4 PM. People looking to shower are required to bring their own towels and supplies. People may also use the Y next door.

Those seeking a place to warm up may also go to either the Emerson or Central Fire stations, the police station on Pleasant Street or to Town Hall at 85 Union St. There are no shower facilities available at these locations. Residents who need fresh water may obtain it from the fire station, Brunswick public safety officials remind people to use caution operating generators and heating appliances. 

• Freeport Community Center, 53 Depot St., Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. as a warming and charging center. Free Wi-Fi available.

• Harpswell town office, 263 Mountain Road, open as warming/charging center.

• Pownal Town Hall, 429 Hallowell Road, open as a warming/charging center from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Showers are available at the fire station at 453 Elmwood Road (not handicap accessible).

In Androscoggin County:

• Lisbon police department, 300 Lisbon St., warming/charging center. 


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