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  • Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Situational Awareness Statement: Wind Storm 2017

    Belfast Harbor, Belfast Maine

    11/02/2017 05:35 PM EDT

    The Maine State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) remains fully activated today after a powerful wind and rainstorm caused nearly 500,000 power outages state-wide beginning Sunday, October 29. Utilities continue to bring in mutual aid from other states and Canada to speed the restoration effort and more than half of the customers affected by power outages now have power restored.

    MEMA representatives continue to work closely with partner agencies including the National Weather Service, Red Cross, DOT, CDC, Department of Public safety, utilities, and county emergency management agencies.

    MEMA appreciates patience and encourages safety as we progress through restoring power throughout Maine. More than 2,000 utility workers, first responders and emergency management personnel from Maine and neighboring states have been working long hours for many days to continue to restore power. Power outages continue to drop, with approximately 132,000 customers without power as of Thursday afternoon,November 2, 2017.

    The State of Maine is pursuing a Federal Disaster Declaration with local municipalities and county Emergency Management Agencies, however no Federal assistance is available at this time. Below is a list of steps and resources available at this time. 

    - Individuals should document damage from the October 29 storm through photos and receipts, and first work with their homeowner's insurance.
    - Documented losses should be reported to 2-1-1 Maine by calling 2-1-1. They will need the name, address and a summary of the losses related to this storm only.
    - Those who cannot afford to fix damage from the storm should contact their municipal General Assistance Officer for assistance that may be available.
    - Check with local food pantries if you have lost food.
    - Community Action Programs may be able to provide some assistance to those who meet certain income guidelines.
    - Current SNAP benefit recipients may be able to obtain a voucher to replace lost food. Contact the Office of Family Independence at 855-797-4357.
    - Farmers who experience losses and need assistance should contact USDA Farm Service Agency at 207-990-9140.
    - Small Business Administration offers low rate emergency disaster loan assistance for businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters, at https://disasterloan.sba.gov. Individuals can also contact 2-1-1 Maine for referrals for assistance.

    ###Situation

    A powerful storm began impacting Maine Sunday, October 29, leaving more than half of Maine residents without electricity.
    -Temperatures are expected to reach the high 50's in southern Maine and will be in the low 50's in northern and interior Maine.
    - Rivers and streams continue to subside. Stream flows remain high statewide but have dropped significantly in the previous 24 hours.
    - Rainfall amounts Thursday through Friday are not expected to cause flooding.
    - A large amount of debris is reported in many areas affecting road access in some cases. Caution is urged when removing debris.
    - 43 State Roads remain closed.

    ###Storm Impacts

    - Many households and businesses remain without power, and shelter and warming center lists are updated regularly. Information is available at maine.gov/MEMA, MEMA's Facebook page and Twitter, and at 211Maine.org or by dialing 2-1-1. Individuals without access to internet or 2-1-1 should check with their town or local fire station for shelter information.
    - Many areas still report a large amount of debris.
    Caution is urged when removing debris and experts should be called for larger debris or if power lines are involved. MEMA will maintain situational awareness and information flow between County EOCs and the SEOC through situational reports for decision making purposes. MEMA will also work to fulfill resource requests from all 16 counties to support response and recovery activities during the sustained response and recovery operations using available resources from state agencies, private vendors and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

    **Citizens are reminded of the following:**

    - Do not touch downed power lines and objects that are touching them.
    - Power restoration is expected to take several days; check on your neighbors.
    - Ensure generators and alternate heat sources are in good working condition and properly installed and located in a well-ventilated area.
    - Use caution when operating chainsaws for debris removal and wear personal protective equipment and/or work with experienced tree-removal services.
    - Those who have been without power for several days should discard food that has not been stored at the proper temperature (refrigerator 40 degrees or below; freezer zero degrees or below).
    - Document all damage costs to property for insurance and other assistance purposes.

    For additional preparedness, shelter and safety information, please visit MainePrepares.com, or visit MEMA on Facebook or Twitter.