Emergency power shutdown due to transmission pole break

Nearly 6,000 CMP customers lost power for 1 1/2 hours
By Susan Mustapich | Feb 18, 2020
Source: Central Maine Power About 6,000 Central Maine Power customers lost power around 3:13 p.m. Feb. 17, during an emergency repair to a downed line caused by breakage of a crossarm on a transmission pole in Rockville.

CAMDEN — The Knox County Emergency Management Agency announced that around 3 p.m. Feb. 17, Central Maine Power was going to shut down power to a Camden substation to repair a broken transmission tower crossarm.

The power outage affected about 6,000 customers in Camden, Rockport, Hope and Lincolnville. It began at 3:13 p.m and lasted for about 90 minutes.

Knox County EMA Director Ray Sisk confirmed, before the power went out, that the outage would affect most of Camden, and parts of Hope and Lincolnville, and was expected to last for about an hour.

He said he was in communication with CMP officials. Because of the broken arm on the transmission tower, wires were dangling to the ground, he said, and had to be fixed.

Sisk said he had alerted public safety departments in the area. They will have emergency power for the 911 system, he said, and PenBay Medical Center will not be affected.

Camden Fire Chief Chris Farley said he was informed of the planned outage around 1:45 p.m. He was told it would last for one to two hours. Farley alerted the Anderson Inn at Quarry Hill, an assisted living facility; Windward Gardens, a skilled nursing and assisted living facility; the Snow Bowl and Hannaford Supermarket.

The Snow Bowl shut its lifts down at 2:45 p.m., he said.

Stores throughout downtown Camden were dark, and most had closed their doors by 3:30 p.m.

Avangrid media spokesperson Ed Crowder said the company was making outbound calls to alert customers of the outage and posting outage notices on Facebook and Twitter. CMP's Facebook message that the company was in the Camden area making repairs, along with a photograph of the broken equipment, appeared around 4:20 p.m. Around that time, Crowder estimated that the outage could last up to two hours, from the time it began.

The transmission crossarm breakage occurred right over the Camden town line in Rockville, affecting the transmission line that feeds the substation in Camden, according to Crowder. A substation is the link between the transmission system, which carries high-voltage electricity across long distances, to the lines and poles that bring electricity at lower voltages to individual customers, he said.

The downed Central Maine Power transmission line was dangerously close to the ground and required an emergency repair Feb. 17. (Source: Central Maine Power)
Central Maine Power transmission lines crisscross through Camden, and are usually unnoticed. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
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*Ray Sisk

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