After a winter storm coated Belfast with more than an inch of ice from Dec. 22 through Dec. 23 Central Maine Power crews worked day and night to restore power to the 19,000 customers without power in Waldo County.

Emergency Management Agency Director Dale Rowley said at the height of the power outages and ice storm problems this week, 36 sought shelter at the emergency shelter set up at Troy Howard Middle School. About 26 people remained at the facility seeking warmth and power on the morning of Dec. 26. The number without power in the county was around 6,100, and dropping, he said.

About a dozen volunteers including Red Cross workers and EMA volunteers have been helping at the emergency shelter. The shelter has provided a warm place to sleep and a cafeteria for those in need. Those with pets also have been welcomed at the shelter.

Central Maine Power Company reported progress Dec. 25 in efforts to restore power to customers following the ice storm.

CMP reported at 9 p.m., Dec. 25 that the estimated number of outages for the state was 30,813, down from a peak of 87,000 Tuesday morning, Dec. 24. The utility estimates more than 123,000 customers have lost service at some point during the storm.

“We are set to achieve our goal to reduce the number of outages to fewer than 30,000 customers by late this evening, and we will continue to work around the clock until that number reaches zero,” said CMP spokesman John Carroll. “We have had 1,800 people working on this effort, and as we finish up repairs in some areas, we will move more crews into places like Kennebec, Waldo, and Hancock counties, where damage was the heaviest.”

CMP President Sara Burns expressed her gratitude for all the help provided to CMP for its storm recovery efforts.

“This has been a difficult storm recovery, and we appreciate all the support we have received from emergency management agencies, contractors, and the many out-of-state crews who came to Maine to offer their support,” she said. “One of the biggest challenges of working on Christmas is finding a way to feed large numbers of people, and Hannaford supermarkets, Lisa’s Restaurant and Catering and the Senator Inn in Augusta were all a tremendous help. We are very grateful to the people at these businesses who sacrificed time with their families at Christmas to help us out."