Theresa Goucher faced her eighth straight day without electricity Monday at her home on Annabessacook Road in Winthrop when she finally found a way to stay warm during the morning, thanks to a clever friend and his battery-powered leaf blower.

Goucher has a gas fireplace in her mobile home, which still burned gas even after the power went out. Lacking electricity to power the fireplace’s fan, however, meant the fireplace itself was warm even as the rest of her home was not.

“The heat just stayed right there in front of the fireplace,” she said, noting it got below 50 degrees inside her home multiple times during the power outage.

That was until a friend offered his battery-powered leaf blower, and suggested she try using it to blow the hot air out of the gas fireplace and into the rest of her residence.

It worked. Monday morning, she tried it out and her home quickly warmed from around 50 to about 72 degrees.

She was among hundreds of thousands of Mainers who lost power in the early morning hours of Oct. 30 as a fierce wind storm blew across the state.


Central Maine Power Co. had expected to restore electricity to all of its year-round customers by late Monday night, a spokeswoman said, a week after outages peaked with more than 405,000 CMP customers in the dark statewide.

About 6,100 CMP customers were still without power Monday afternoon, according to spokeswoman Gail Rice, who said the company believed it could make repairs and get the electricity flowing by Monday night.

Cumberland, Kennebec and Lincoln counties had the highest number of remaining outages on Monday — Kennebec had just under 330 still remaining in the dark Monday evening — but the numbers were declining across the board. Rice said the number of outages were fluctuating because of outages caused by factors unrelated to the failures caused by the storm, such as cars hitting utility poles and animals making contact with power lines and causing a short.

In a few cases, Rice said, line crews cut power to customers who already had their power restored in order to make repairs, but the duration of those outages is usually brief.

Rice said currently unoccupied seasonal homes will be the last to be connected. She could not give an estimate for when that task will be completed.

As Goucher chatted about still not having power Monday morning, a passing motorist stopped, rolled down the window of his station wagon and asked the question on the lips of many in Maine over the last several days.


“Have you got power yet?”

Learning that she did not, he asked, before driving off late Monday morning, “Have they forgotten us?”

It appears they had not — Central Maine Power reported on its outage website that as of Monday afternoon power had been restored on Annabessacook Road in Winthrop, and no outages remained there.


Another Annabessacook Road resident, Jessica Bowers, said she got power back around 3 p.m. Monday, after eight days of no electricity and no generator.

“I think I’m going to buy one now,” Bowers said of a generator.


She and a neighbor, Amy Aubut, waved and blew kisses to utility workers leaving the area after they had restored power.

“I think I cried a little bit,” Bowers said of her reaction to getting electricity restored after so long. “When (the utility workers) went by I was blowing them kisses, we were really happy. It’s very nice to have power back. I’m showering my kids for the first time in I don’t know how many days.”

She said she was grateful for the work of the utility crews, more than she was frustrated over not having power for that long. “I understand, they have families too, and they’re here from away,” Bowers said.

She said the hardest part of the power outage was not having any way to cook food at her house, other than a woodstove.

Goucher said the hardest part of not having power for so long was trying to keep warm, and getting coffee.

She said she called CMP every day and was initially told she’d have electricity back by Saturday. But after that day came and went and no power started flowing, she was told she’d have it back by the end of Monday.


Goucher said not having power for so long had been awful, and no one in the neighborhood was very happy about it. She said, though, “We’re still trying to have a sense of humor about it.”

As Goucher chatted in her driveway, an orange CMP pickup truck, a yellow light on its roof flashing, pulled into a driveway a short distance up Annabessacook Road.

“We get so excited when we see a truck,” that might be there to help restore electricity, Goucher said, laughing. “That’s got to be a good sign, right?”

She said the extended outage reminded her of the Ice Storm of 1998, when, living in Wayne at the time, she lost power for 14 days.


In Belgrade, there were still 63 outages reported by CMP as of Monday night. Areas of Whispering Pines and Cathedral Pines, which mostly contain seasonal camps, were among the hardest hit.


There were several line trucks and tree removal vehicles on Cathedral Pines Monday morning working to repair downed trees and lines, and a six-house grid on Ambrose Cove Road was also awaiting restoration, which CMP estimated would be before 10 p.m. Monday.

Claire Pepin and her son, Robert, of JR Metal Frames, said the business lost power early Monday last week and it was restored Tuesday afternoon. When the pair arrived at work Monday morning this week, there was a power pole leaning over, and nobody knows what happened or when.

“We may lose power again if they have to come out and repair this,” Claire Pepin said.

Claire Pepin lives off Oakland road and said she was without power for two days but has been without TV, internet and phone since last week. She said she’s received almost no help from her provider, Spectrum, and has no idea when those services will be restored.

“They tell me to do all kinds of things, but nothing works,” she said. “So I’ve been reading and doing puzzles.”

Augusta resident Ashley Wagner said she got power back at her house off Eastern Avenue on Saturday. She said it was hard with her two young children, but there were enough family and friends in the area who had power to help ease the burden.


“I knew it was going to be a while, but I think Central Maine Power did the best they could, and their website kept us in the loop as much as possible,” Wagner said. “It could’ve been a lot worse.”

South China resident Shannon Young got home late Monday afternoon to find the power still out.

Young and her husband have a generator, and she said she knows, with that, they have had things a lot better than many other Mainers — even if they do end up among the last residents to get their electricity back. She said most of her neighbors have their power back but the electrical service was torn off their home, so they remain powerless.

She said she has been waking up her husband at 4 a.m. to switch the generator over to the hot water tank, so they can have hot showers before they each head for work.

She said CMP indicated they’d have power back Saturday, then on Sunday, and then maybe sometime this week. She noted a CMP representative she spoke with was very friendly, but was unable to provide a firm estimate of when they might get power back.

“The worst part is seeing a lot of people lose everything, no food, no water, no heat,” Young said. “We’re lucky, we have a generator. We fill it up every night. A lot of people don’t have that. At least it’s not cold, and it’s not three weeks like the ice storm.”

Staff writer Jason Pafundi and Portland Press Herald staff writer Gillian Graham contributed reporting.

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