Thousands of Central Maine Power customers across central Maine continued to be without power Monday evening as the company raised concerns about the potential for relocating polling places if power is not restored by morning.

The company reported a total of 65,602 customers were without power as of 8:13 p.m.

The storm left the most damage in the midcoast. There were 17,116 customers without power in Knox County, 15,870 in Waldo County and 15,996 in Lincoln County.

“The heavy snow and strong winds knocked out power to more than 80 percent of the homes and businesses in some counties along the mid-coast,” CMP spokeswoman Gail Rice said in a release. “The severity of the damage and icy roads are adding to the difficulties facing crews in those areas.”

Electricity was out to about 1,971 customers in Kennebec County and about 913 customers in Somerset County.

Late in the day Monday, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap encouraged people to plan to vote as normal in hopes that utility crews will restore power in time.


“As long as people can mark their ballots by 8 p.m. on Election Day, their vote will be counted,” Dunlap said. “Any adjustments that need to be made will be made public as broadly as we can.”

Towns forced to relocate their polling places will be listed online via a link at There also will be a sign on the door at the traditional polling places directing voters to an alternate location. Dunlap advised voters to check with their town or city clerk to see if their scheduled polling place will remain open.

Company officials have said CMP crews are scrambling to restore power as quickly as possible.

“Our focus today is to restore service on some of our major lines as we bring in additional crews and assess the damage on our system,” Rice said. “We also have people in helicopters surveying transmission lines from the air to make sure we have a complete assessment of the damage to our system.”

State officials have responded to the outages by opening warming shelters throughout Penobscot, Waldo and Knox counties, including in Washington at Gibbs Library on Old Union Road.

State offices in Ellsworth, Rockland and west Boothbay were closed Monday due to the continued impact of the storm.


Several inches of heavy wet snow blanketed the area causing hundreds of accidents. Winds that gusted in excess of 40 mph brought down trees and limbs, adding to the challenge.

The Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning to residents without power to be wary of carbon monoxide poisoning that could be caused by gas-powered generators, kerosene heaters or other power sources. Generators must be placed outdoors at least 15 feet from windows or doors, according to the CDC. Kerosene heaters should be used in well ventilated rooms.

Rice warned against using untraditional sources of heat, such as grills or camp stoves. She also urged homeowners who wish to install a permanent generator to hire a licensed electrician. Portable generators must be properly grounded, Rice said.

She also stressed continued caution around downed lines.

“Everyone should stay clear of any downed power lines or fallen trees that may be tangled in the lines,” Rice said. “All downed lines should be considered live and dangerous. Customers should leave the clean-up to our crews, who are trained and equipped to handle these situations safely.”

In Somerset County, dispatchers took 92 complaints of trees and wires down on Sunday and 80 reports of motor vehicle accidents, according to Somerset County Emergency Management Director Michael Smith.


“We’re definitely lucky compared to some of the coastal communities. They really got hit,” said Smith. There were no serious injuries reported in any of the motor vehicle accidents, he said.

“It was an extremely busy day,” Smith said. “The first snowstorm of the year, people always forget that they’re driving on snow and ice now, and it tends to be the storm that really hits us in dispatch.”

The storm’s effects were mostly felt in the eastern part of the state with the highest snowfall accumulation in the Penobscot County town of Orrington, where the National Weather Service reported 17 inches of snow.

“To get that much snow this early in the year, it doesn’t happen,” said Michael Cempa, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Gray. “We’re used to getting a little bit of snow, but not that much this soon.”

Augusta and Waterville appeared to have received a couple of inches of snow, but exact totals for the two cities were not available from the National Weather Service, which collects data on snowfall from volunteers around the state, said Cempa.

In Kennebec County, 5.5 inches were reported in Vassalboro and 4 inches in Winslow. In Somerset County, 6 inches was reported in Harmony.


In Waldo County, 12 inches were reported in Prospect, 11 inches in Winterport and 10 inches in Belfast, said Cempa.

The highest wind gusts around the state were reported in Augusta, which recorded 50 mph gusts.

“It’s one storm that happened to work out that way and everything came together to produce that snow. I don’t think it necessarily says anything about the winter ahead,” said Cempa.

Temperatures are expected to warm up for the rest of the week, with highs in the upper 40s to around 50 degrees. The next chance of any precipitation is on Thursday and is expected to be rain, said Cempa.

The warming temperatures are good news for homeowners looking for ways to heat their homes during the power outage.


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