MAINE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
FACT SHEET: Safety Important as Work Week Begins
December 14, 2008
AUGUSTA, MAINE – The State continues to responding in the aftermath of a major winter storm that has created hazardous driving conditions and cut power to thousands of Mainers.
- Approximately 67,600 accounts remain without power in Central Maine Power (CMP) service area, the great majority in the Alfred, Portland and Brunswick service areas
- Local and county emergency managers, first responders and volunteers continue to support the needs of residents in the affected areas.
- Everyone can help in the outage area by reaching out to friends and neighbors who might need additional assistance.
- CMP reports that while many areas will see power restored tonight, many other customers will be out for at least one more night.
- CMP also reports more than 500 lineworkers, 3 pole-setting crews, and 160 tree crews in the field restoring power today. In addition, hundreds of people are engaged in support tasks including damage assessment, answering phones, moving equipment, and arranging meals and lodging.
- Crews from the Canadian Maritimes, Michigan, New York, and around Maine are assisting in the restoration
- 21 shelters and warming centers are open, 5 operated by the American Red Cross, 17 operated by communities.
- Governor Baldacci is visiting affected communities in York and Lincoln Counties today.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning is a major safety concerns for those staying in their homes; the Maine CDC reports a rise in reported carbon monoxide cases (see safety information, below)
- With the work week beginning, it will be important for those driving to work and school continue to be vigilant about treacherous road conditions. Commuters should also be aware that tree crews and line crews will be out in force working on restoration, and every care should be taken to stay clear of work areas.
Key safety messages:
- Check on neighbors, family and friends to make sure they are staying warm and safe.
- Stay clear of downed power lines, and report them to your local electrical utility.
- If you have food in refrigerators and freezers, use care in keeping it cold. Do not eat any food that you suspect may be contaminated.
- Use generators and alternative heat sources carefully, in accordance with manufacturers' instructions. Carbon monoxide poisoning can result by using these appliances in enclosed spaces.
- Exercise caution when using power tools, especially chain saws, in clearing fallen limbs and trees. Do not attempt to clear tree debris that is tangled with power lines; call your electric utility.
Important phone numbers and web sites:
Safety fact sheets are available at http://www.maine.gov/mema and http://www.maineprepares.com.