This week’s storm flooded Water Street in downtown Hallowell, causing significant damage to businesses. Bridget Barrow

HALLOWELL — If it wasn’t for Bridget Barrow going door-to-door with a local electrician, businesses in Hallowell might still be without power.

Like other places in central Maine, Hallowell’s Water Street sustained substantial flood and wind damage from this week’s massive rainstorm, which pushed the Kennebec River to unprecedented levels. The local businesses on the city’s main strip were unable to get electricity restored until each building was cleared by an electrician.

It was a fact Barrow, who manages several properties on Water Street through Tenant Solutions, did not know until Thursday night when Hallowell City Manager Gary Lamb posted the notice on the door of one of her properties.

Then, she got to work.

“I went home and made 20 copies of the notice because I thought, ‘No one down the hall probably knows this,’ and I got my clipboard, my flashlight and my headlamp and informed everyone I could,” she said.

She called Nicholas Electrical Company, which volunteered staff time on Friday and went door to door with her. Barrow was worried that if the street went another day without power, the pipes would freeze.


Because of the flooding, each building on Water Street — from the colorful chairs to Lucky Garden — had to be individually checked to make sure the power could be safely turned back on. To prevent a fire or a transformer from blowing when the power was restored, Barrow and the electrician had to check the breaker panels and the electric meters to make sure they did not sustain water damage.

The process of going door-to-door took the entire day, but they were able to reach every building and business owner.

With every building clear — and a few had to have their meters switched off because of the flood damage, like Maine Local Market — Barrow and the electrician from Nicholas Electrical could tell Central Maine Power the news: they did it.

If she did not get to everyone, or clearing each building relied upon unorganized individual efforts, the strip along the water on Water Street still could be without power.

“It was 5 a.m., (on Saturday) and I was praying that since every building was cleared … and by 7 a.m. Central Maine Power confirmed we got our power back,” Barrow said. “I called my tenants and they can be home for Christmas and be warm and not have to worry about their pipes freezing.”

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