A majority of Mainers who lost power during Friday’s icy rainstorm had it restored by Saturday night.

Central Maine Power said 131 customers in southern and central Maine remained without power as of about 8:15  p.m. On Friday evening the company had listed as many as 23,900 customers without electricity, including more than 12,000 in York County.

CMP said it had brought in more than 80 extra contractor crews, and expected to restore power to “the vast majority” of customers by late Saturday night.

The number of customers without service fluctuated throughout the day on Saturday. About 11 a.m., the number on CMP’s online outage list stood around 12,000, but then rose to 14,500 about noon. By about 3 p.m. the figure was 4,188 and by 6:30 p.m. it had fallen to 564.

At 8:15 p.m. Saturday York County still had the most customers without power, at 125. Cumberland County had just four customers left without power, while Sagadahoc County and Knox County had one each.

“Our lineworkers are focused on safe system repairs and power restoration as conditions remain icy and cold,” Matt Sadler of CMP said in a statement Saturday morning. “We are working hard to get all customers restored as quickly as possible; safety for both customers and workers remains our primary concern.”

The city of Saco opened the Saco Transportation Center, on Main Street, for those without power who need to charge devices or use the restroom. It was scheduled to be open until 11 p.m. Saturday.

Meanwhile, Emera Maine, which provides electricity to eastern and northern Maine, reported only a handful of customers without power Saturday afternoon and evening, and just one as of 8:15 p.m., in Otis.

Saturday was sunny in southern Maine, and the National Weather Service said the high temperature reached 27 in Portland, 25 in Sanford and 21 in Augusta. The temperature was expected to drop to 5 degrees Saturday night. Rain and snow showers are likely to return Sunday night and Monday morning.

Freezing rain sent cars and trucks skidding on Friday night, but Maine State Police handled just one serious accident, in Saco.

“There were vehicles off the road everywhere – interstates, secondary roads,” said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The most serious crash McCausland knew of took place on the Maine Turnpike in Saco, where a sedan slid into the path of an oncoming truck, crushing the smaller car’s doors and injuring the driver.

Still, the danger’s not over after freezing rain stops.

On Saturday, McCausland cautioned motorists to scrape ice off their vehicles before hitting the roads, because, especially on the highway, debris can fly off one car and hit another.

“Motorists should try to do their best to clear their cars off,” he said. “In addition to that, they want to make sure they’ve allowed enough time for their defroster to work, so that it can clear their back and side windows as well.”

The ice storm also knocked out cable TV and internet service to much of Maine and New Hampshire on Friday afternoon, apparently because of damage to a fiber-optic cable connecting northern New England to Spectrum’s wider network. On Saturday storm-related damage contributed to another outage in Maine, mostly affecting Spectrum’s cable TV service but also some internet service. The Saturday outage lasted from about 1 to 5 p.m.


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