Damage caused by high winds has kept Central Maine Power Company crews busy Friday afternoon, March 18. According to a press release, at 3:30 p.m., an estimated 15,768 customers were without service.

“In some areas, the wind has uprooted entire trees from the soft ground and brought them down onto lines,” said CMP spokesperson Gail Rice. “Elsewhere, the wind has blown tree limbs and branches into lines and disrupted service.”

The release stated that CMP will have available crews working into Friday evening and through the night to repair damage. The utility is moving some of its own crews and calling in contract crews to work in more heavily damaged parts of its service area.

Continued high winds could cause new outages the next few hours; the company hopes to make good progress later Friday once the winds ease.

Here is the list of outages by county:

Somerset, 6,721

Kennebec, 2,665

Cumberland, 2,014

Piscataquis, 1,312

Franklin, 926

Penobscot, 798

Waldo, 546

York, 345

Hancock, 196

Oxford, 191

Sagadahoc, 44

Knox, 10

Total CMP clients, 15,768

CMP urged people to use caution if they see downed lines.

“Everyone should stay clear of any downed power lines and trees or limbs that may be tangled in the lines,” said Rice. “These should all be considered live and dangerous. Customers should leave the clean-up to our crews, who are trained and equipped to handle these situations safely.”

CMP reminded drivers to use caution when approaching utility crews in the roadway. Working conditions are difficult, and they will appreciate everyone’s consideration for their safety.

If outages occur, customers should call the toll-free outage hotline: 1-800-696-1000.