CMP spokesman John Carroll said 85 CMP crews and 92 out-of-state crews from Connecticut, New York, Vermont and Canada were already working Tuesday morning. Another 80 to 85 out-of-state teams were anticipated to join them.

Each crew is made up of two people working 17 hours on, seven hours off.

In addition, Carroll said 200 two-and three-person tree teams were also on the road.

“We’re adding another 100 tree crews over the course of the day,” he said.

The priorities were Kennebec and Waldo counties, where more than half of CMP customers were without power from the days-long ice storm.

“One thing we’re finding, it’s very dangerous right now because the trees are so loaded up,” Carroll said. “Our crews have to take a lot of care working around them. If you cut them, they jump and also they’re falling still.”

Crews will concentrate on repairing the electrical system’s “backbone,” then move to the more populated areas. He expected power to some homes to be restored on Tuesday.

Skeleton crews were planning to work through the night, but most without power by 9 p.m. likely won’t get it back tonight.

Carroll said they were telling crews not to think about the looming Christmas holiday but instead to just keep their heads down and stay safe.

“These conditions will be dangerous,” Carroll said. “We will have so many crews in a comparatively small area, they really need to coordinate their efforts. There are very, very strict, very, very important safety protocols. The work will go at the pace that it goes. We don’t want people to feel rushed.”

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