NORWAY — Over 2,800 residences were temporarily without power Tuesday afternoon after a power line fell from a pole at Fair and Winter streets, briefly trapping a woman in her car.

Kimberly Eastman of Sumner said she was driving her Nissan SUV south on Fair Street near Winter Street around 1:30 p.m. when an power line fell across the road. She said she slammed on the brakes but her vehicle straddled the downed line.

She stayed in her vehicle for several minutes until emergency crews instructed her to back up over the line and pull to the side of the road.

The line could be seen smoking and sparking under the car, burning the front driver’s side tire and deflating it.

Police and firefighters blocked off Fair Street at the intersection with Paris Street for several hours. Traffic was diverted onto Grove Street.

Eastman, who was uninjured but shaken from the experience, said she did not see anything strike the line.

Norway fire Assistant Chief Jim Tibbetts said the supports anchoring the power line to the pole likely were old.

Eastman said it was instinctual to remain in her vehicle until told otherwise.

“Thank God for commercials — ‘No line is safe to touch, ever,'” she said.

As many as 2,861 homes in Norway, Paris, Oxford, Hebron and West Paris were without power as workers from Central Maine Power unplugged the area grid, CMP spokesperson Gail Rice said. 

By 2 p.m., crews had restored power to all but 1,000 buildings, which were expected to come back online in a few hours, according to Rice. Most outages were in Paris, she said.

Paris Town Clerk Elizabeth Knox said the Town Office was without power for about 15 minutes.

Businesses in downtown Norway appeared to be without power up to Greenleaf Avenue.

Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, about 50 yards from the incident, ran on generator power for about 45 minutes before power was restored, according to Pat Cook, senior vice president for clinical services.

“We’re very fortunate. CMP takes good care of us,” Cook said.

The incident was the second power outage handled by Norway firefighters Tuesday. Earlier, they investigated outages near the Greenwood and Norway Center roads. That incident was still being investigated as of Tuesday afternoon.

[email protected]

filed under: