Police, CMP prepare for storm


As if you don’t have enough to think about with Winter Storm Pax barreling in, police in Lewiston, Auburn and surrounding towns will put parking bans into effect beginning Thursday afternoon.

In Auburn, the ban begins at 3 p.m. In Lewiston, at 6. It amounts to pretty much the same thing: Parking on public streets will be frowned upon as crews prepare to tackle as much as a foot of snow expected to fall into Friday.

Color Central Maine Power prepared, as well.

“We’ve put our storm-response plan into motion, and we’re watching the forecast closely,” said Gail Rice, spokeswoman for Central Maine Power. “The heavy snow, sleet and rain forecast for Thursday could cause considerable snow and ice buildup on roadways, tree limbs, and power lines. Combined with gusty winds, this could result in power interruptions and difficult travel, so we’re getting crews, equipment and materials in place to respond.”

Earlier Wednesday, 25 CMP crews — along with crews from contractors that often assist the utility company during storms — were in southeastern Pennsylvania restoring service under a mutual aid agreement. But officials said both CMP and the contractors recalled those crews to make them available for the coming storm at home.

The utility is coordinating its storm preparation efforts with other utilities in the North Atlantic Mutual Assistance Group. CMP officials say they are also lining up contract crews to assist if the storm causes widespread damage. CMP is also keeping the Maine Emergency Management Agency apprised of preparation efforts.

If outages occur, CMP urges customers to call the toll-free outage hotline: 1-800-696-1000.