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  • Maine's Emergency Management Agency Responds to Nor'easter during Covid-19

    Last of winter in Solon, Maine - photo by Ramona du Houx
    Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is working with Maine electric utilities to prioritize power restoration after a Nor'easter left more than one third of the state's electric utility customers without power. Wet, heavy snow blanketed the state beginning Thursday afternoon, causing numerous broken tree limbs, fallen power lines and vehicle accidents. "Given the pandemic that we are already dealing with, we recognize how important it is to get primary power restored to our hospitals, healthcare facilities, and food-distribution facilities, many of which are running on back-up sources of power," said MEMA Director Peter Rogers. "We also understand that many Mainers are observing the state's stay-at-home order, making electricity and telecommunications needs even more necessary."

    MEMA is working with electric utilities to secure mutual assistance from other states to help speed up the power restoration process. The State Emergency Operations Center is operational and responding to resource needs of the county emergency management agencies related to Covid-19 as well as the snowstorm. "Given the widespread nature of the damage, we expect this to be a multi-day power restoration effort," said Rogers. "We know this is a difficult time for Mainers and we ask for patience as we work through this challenging event." Mainers are reminded to ensure that alternate heat and power sources are in proper working condition and properly installed. Those who are traveling should use extreme caution as roadways may still be snow covered.

    Extra caution is urged when shoveling snow, as it is wet and heavy and may cause injuries if not handled properly. This includes:

    - Pushing snow instead of lifting it

    - Bending your knees and lifting with your legs

    - Taking frequent breaks

    - Taking care to avoid power lines when removing snow from rooftops