Governor Mills Gives Update On Power Restoration And Road Clean Up Efforts In Maine
Maine's Governor Janet Mills delivered an update to the public regarding storm restoration and clean-up efforts, and told people "Don't lose faith and stay safe," Wednesday afternoon.
Mills says that as of Wednesday, 253,182 Mainers were still without power statewide, following this weekend's destructive storm. CMP reports that 197,416 customers are still without electricity, while Versant has about 52-thousand customers still waiting for the lights to turn back on.
While that number is fluid, as crews work tirelessly to continue to repair the damage done by the high winds and rain, Mills says some folks could be waiting a while longer, perhaps through the weekend.
"The extensive damage caused by this storm means we are continuing to look at a multi-day power restoration effort."
Part of the holdup, Mills says, is that some of the roads crews would need to access are still closed, making it so workers cannot get to some of the lines.
She says Maine's Department of Transportation Commissioner informed her Wednesday morning that Maine DOT has reopened more roads and bridges today, as some of the flood waters have receded. Where yesterday's total state road closures were over 100, as of Wednesday, there are 68 roads closed and 23 bridges.
Mills made a plea to Maine residents to stay off of roads that have been closed, especially ones in flooded areas, saying it wasn't worth the risk to their lives.
The Governor also mentioned that as of Tuesday afternoon, she's declared a state of Civil Emergency for 14 of the 16 Maine counties. Mills says this designation allows for the full weight of the state's resources to be available to these affected areas and opens up opportunities for access to federal support as well.
"If you need emergency assistance, call 911. If you need non-emergency assistance, like where to find a warming shelter or charging center, call 211."
Mills spoke of Mainer's toughness and tenacity to get through anything and asked Mainers to help one another and to stay safe.
"Maine people, we're no strangers to hard times. We've been through a lot lately, in the last few years; a pandemic, a turbulent economy, the horrific tragedy in Lewiston, and now this devastating storm, which has claimed the lives of at least 2 people, with at least two others missing. And it can't be ignored that this storm comes just days before Christmas, a time that's marked by joy and love and kindness. But for many in Maine, that may no longer be the case. For those people who are dealing with the loss of their homes, or vehicles or damage to property...in the face of these challenges, I'm reminded that we are never asked to carry more than we are able. I know that in Maine, that burden feels heavy right now, but it is not more than we can carry."
Mills also says for those who use SNAP benefits, and who lost food due to flooding or power outages, SNAP would have replacement benefits available for those who file a claim with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
For those still without power, in need of a warm place to be, or charge devices, check out this list here.
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