PORTLAND (AP) – Although Maine was largely unaffected by the massive blackout in New York and other major U.S. and Canadian cities, the ripple effects were still being felt on Friday.

There were no long lines at the Portland International Jetport but some frustrated air travelers were coping with the kind of mass cancellations usually reserved for a major snowstorm.

Dorie Clay was trying to track down her twin brother, Eric Bibb, a blues guitarist scheduled to play a concert Saturday at L.L. Bean in Freeport.

Bibb’s Thursday flight into LaGuardia Airport had been diverted. And by Friday morning Clay and her mother, Marilyn Gore of New York, still didn’t know Bibb’s whereabouts as they waited at the Portland Jetport.

“We’re grateful to be in Maine and not New York,” Gore said.

Flights to several cities were delayed or canceled, including some that merely pass through the air space over affected cities.

Jon Cabral, 20, had planned to board a 6 a.m. flight that soars over the New York area on its way to Jacksonville, Fla. He had to scramble to change his plans when the airline called Thursday night to inform him the flight was canceled.

Electric service in Maine was unaffected by the blackout.

New England lost 2,500 megawatts of electricity, compared to the nearly 25,000 megawatts lost in New York and 21,000 megawatts lost in Ontario.

There were only sporadic outages in western Massachusetts and parts of Vermont because most of the grid’s equipment was working well, said Stephen Whitley, chief operating officer of ISO New England, which manages the regional power grid.

The biggest trouble spot was in southwest Connecticut, Whitley said. More than 300,000 Connecticut customers lost power Thursday, but most of New England’s power grid was restored by midnight Friday, Whitley said.

“You had a strong part of our system that held together and a weak part of our system that didn’t hold together,” he said.

Maine Gov. John Baldacci has asked Beth Nagusky, director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security, to meet with directors of ISO New England and report to him on the blackout’s causes and any risks posed to Maine in the future.

AP-ES-08-15-03 1302EDT



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