Governor Signs Emergency Declaration to Speed Power Restoration
February 25, 2010
AUGUSTA -- Governor John E. Baldacci tonight issued a Declaration of Emergency that will facilitate power crews traveling into Maine to help restore electricity service knocked out by a severe winter storm.
The Emergency Declaration was issued at 6:25 p.m. to extend the hours of service for power crews to expedite power restoration for household and businesses currently without electricity.
“We are expecting high winds and heavy, wet snow in much of the State,” Governor Baldacci said. “By issuing this order, we will help restore power more quickly and be better prepared for expected additional outages.”
As of early afternoon today, approximately 3,800 customers, mostly in Farmington, Brunswick and Skowhegan services areas of CMP were without power. The Maine Emergency Management Agency expects those numbers to increase throughout the evening as storm conditions become more severe.
The text of the Emergency Declaration follows:
WHEREAS, the State of Maine is experiencing a severe winter storm that has left thousands of Maine homes and businesses out of power; and
WHEREAS, work crews will have to work many hours to restore power; and
WHEREAS, power restoration crews may be requested from other states and potentially from Canadian provinces to assist in power restoration; and
WHEREAS, federal rules determine the number of hours the driver of an electrical line repair vehicle may operate; and
WHEREAS, drivers of such vehicles must cease operations when they reach the federal limit on hours of operation, and therefore would have to cease power restoration; and
WHEREAS, these conditions threaten public health and safety and endanger public property if power cannot be restored to Maine homes and businesses; and
WHEREAS, the declaration of a State of Emergency will facilitate the granting of a waiver from the U.S. Department of Transportation - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, pursuant to 49 CFR part 390.23 to allow relief from 49 CFR parts 390 through 399 subject to the limitations described below, and therefore allow these utility service vehicles to operate additional hours and otherwise operate effectively in this situation,
WHEREAS, utility service vehicles that have an Out-Of-Service Order in effect may not take advantage of the relief from regulation that this declaration provides under 49 CFR 390.23
NOW THEREFORE, I, John Elias Baldacci, Governor of the State of Maine, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of Maine, find that these conditions constitute a civil emergency under 37-B M.R.S.A. section 742, and for the purpose pursuant to 49 CFR part 390.23 of facilitating a waiver to the U.S. Department of Transportation - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Rules, specifically 49 CFR part 395 Hours of Service of Drivers, do hereby declare that a State of Emergency exists as of February 25, 2010 through March 25, 2010.