article by Gabriella Aubut and Zoe Seward
edited by Brianna Mooers
It was late on the night of October 29th, 2017, when the storm struck Maine, lasting until midday on October 30th, 2017. Everyone knew that we’d get a storm that night, and into the morning, but no one would’ve expected what happened. Late that night, rain started to pour in, and wind ripped through the trees. No matter how hard you tried, you could always hear the incredible winds outside of your window, which reached up to 70+ mph that night, and carried on until the morning. Areas in Maine received anywhere from two to four inches of rain in the storm that lasted less than a day.
The storm certainly didn’t start in Maine, but as it made its way North, power outages swept through New England. It resulted in over 1.2 million outages all across New England. About 500,000 Maine residents lost power, which surpasses the Ice Storm of ‘98, which only had about 360,000 Maine residents with a loss of power. Some of the residents lost power for minutes, while others lost power for day, if not, the entire week. York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin were hit the hardest when it came to the loss of power.
Maine only has two power providers, Central Maine Power, and Emera Maine. CMP reported roughly 385,000 consumers who lost their power, due to damaged lines, and Emera Maine reported more than 89,000 consumers who lost power in their homes. This may not include those who have taken the time and invested in a generator.
Since many in the Waterboro area lost power, Massabesic Middle School was opening their doors for a few hours each day to allow residents in the area to charge their phones, shower, and use their facilities until more power was regained.
Many people were calling their electricity suppliers, looking for answers as to when they would regain power, but no one knew for sure the exact date. CMP workers were working day and night to fix the lines, and volunteer electricians were coming from all over to try to restore power. The Maine Emergency Management Agency, on Monday afternoon, said that they were working with the U.S. customs officials to allow Canadian utility crews into Maine to help with the line work. Even with all that help, there were still some people who still didn’t regain power until the following Saturday night.
The tempest brought more than just the biggest power outage in Maine history, though. Street lights started to malfunction, roads flooded, school days were cancelled for one or more days, and after at least one day of cancellations, there were multiple delays until all the damage had been fixed for the next school week. Busses were rerouted to avoid the aftermath of the storm and debris, like fallen trees, damaged vehicles, homes, power lines, and property in general. With this storm causing the worst power outage in the history of Maine, let’s just hope that it stays that way.