LEWISTON — Maybe Maine will suffer the full impact of Hurricane Sandy. More likely, it won't. Either way, power company crews are standing by and expecting the worst.
Central Maine Power officials say they will be ready when the storm moves up the East Coast and makes landfall early next week.
Utility trucks are fueled and equipped, a CMP spokesman said. Key CMP personnel are holding periodic pre-storm planning sessions to discuss staffing levels and to finalize storm-response plans.
“We’ve put our storm-response plan into motion, and we’re watching the forecast closely,” said John Carroll, spokesman for Central Maine Power. “Our main concern will be the high winds and heavy rains forecast to accompany the storm. With leaves that have not yet been shed, trees are particularly vulnerable to strong winds, and the limbs and branches could be blown into our lines.”
The National Weather Service said the "Frankenstorm" that's expected to strike the mid-Atlantic on Monday will mean only rain and wind in Maine and New Hampshire.
Locally, CMP is coordinating its storm preparation efforts with the Maine Emergency Management Agency and the Governor’s Office, which Friday issued a limited Emergency Declaration to help Maine utilities prepare for the storm.
The declaration suspends travel restrictions that would otherwise slow the arrival of crews from other states and Canada.
If outages occur, CMP urges customers to call the toll-free outage hot line: 1-800-696-1000.