GREENE — As did many rural towns, Greene got hit with an extra punch by the pre-Halloween storm Monday.

More than half of the Central Maine Power customers in town — 1,397 of 2,131 – didn’t have power Tuesday.

And that was an improvement over Monday.

“Supposedly, yesterday there were 42 people in the town who had power,” resident Bruce Clark said.

Statewide, CMP reported Tuesday, 345,000 customers were without power, a better situation than Monday when 400,000-plus were without power.

In Androscoggin County on Tuesday, 12,963 customers were without power, according to CMP’s power outage list. In Franklin, 4,541 households still lacked electricity and in Oxford County, 11,800.

In several coastal counties the vast majority of households were without power on Tuesday: 4,880 of 6,079 in Hancock and 20,593 of 26,934 in Lincoln.

Power will be restored to most Maine customers by Saturday, CMP spokeswoman Gail Rice said.

Working the Greene IGA cash register, Holly Cloutier said her family lost power at 6 a.m. Monday.

“I woke up before my daughter and husband. I said, ‘I’m going to make coffee before we lose p-o-w-e-r.’”

As she got to the word “power,” the lights started flickering.

“Out. Back on. Out. Back on. Out. Out. Out,” Cloutier said.

No coffee.

By Tuesday her family had the generator running to keep the refrigerator and freezer going. “My husband goes home at noon to put gas in it,” she said.

Store front-end manager Tammy Hamm said the IGA store didn’t open Monday. “We didn’t have power.”

On Tuesday the hot items were the usual staples along with a lot of water and ice. The ice was gobbled up by homeowners in powerless homes trying to keep their food cold.

Will and Jane Simmons were also without power Tuesday. They were on the lookout for CMP trucks.

“I know they’re doing their job,” he said. “They just haven’t gotten to us yet.”

Their home is comfortable with a generator, they said. No power at home would have been easier, he said with a smile, if the automatic generator sitting in his workshop had been installed.

Bruce and Sharon Clark said they lost power at 6 a.m. Monday. “It’s a pain in the neck,” he said. “We’re running a generator part time,” enough to keep the house warm and the refrigerator cold.

“You realize how much you use your electricity when you don’t have it,” Sharon Clark said.

In Auburn, Bryan and Maison Herzog of Lisbon were enjoying a hot meal at Rolly’s Diner.

They lost their power at 5 a.m. Monday. A downed tree near their house had taken down wires.

“Last night we sat in the car to charge our cellphones,” he said.

“We played a game of ‘Life,’” she said.

They cooked on the grill by candlelight. They hauled out their camping equipment. “We were ready,” he said.

A neighbor came by and chopped the tree off the line. “It’s nice to see neighbors coming together,” he said.

Speaking of kindness, there was enough hot water in their electric hot water heater for one last shower. Looking at his wife, Bryan said, “I offered it out.” She insisted he take the shower.

Even though CMP has cautioned that power may not come back until Saturday, he’s optimistic they can put the camping equipment back sooner.

“We’ve seen CMP trucks in Lisbon,” he said.

Cashier Holly Cloutier rings up groceries for Will Simmons at the Greene IGA on Tuesday, where water and ice were big sellers. As many homeowners in Greene, Cloutier and Simmons said they didn’t have power. (Bonnie Washuk/Sun Journal)


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