Waldo County hit hardest by Father's Day blackout

By Jordan Bailey | Jun 15, 2014
Photo by: Jordan Bailey The Hannaford grocery store in Belfast was closed during the power outage Sunday, June 15.

An equipment failure at a Central Maine Power substation in Belfast caused a large scale power outage Sunday, June 15, which affected all of Waldo County and many surrounding towns for approximately three hours.

Power went out in the area at about 12:30 p.m. Many gas stations and grocery stores were closed during the outage, which coincided with the Trek Across Maine bike event ending at the Belfast waterfront. Local police stepped in to direct traffic and bikers through busy intersections while traffic lights were not working.

Gayle Rice, a spokesman for Central Maine Power, said in a phone call with The Journal that a mobile substation was in use at the Belfast substation while work was being done there. The mobile transformer failed and this had a cascading effect because it was feeding power to other substations. In total 14,361 customers in 20 towns were affected, Rice said.

According to the Central Maine Power website, at 2:58 p.m. 13,056 customers were without power in Waldo County, 1,072 were without power in Kennebec County, and 527 were without power in Penobscot County.

Rice said workers were able to get almost half of the customers (6,958) back up at 1 p.m., but the rest required running tests to ensure the repair could handle the load. Power was restored at 3:36 p.m. to the remaining customers affected by the outage.

"The timing was unfortunate because the Trek Across Maine was happening in Belfast at the time and others were inconvenienced as well," Rice said. "But it sounds like people were able to take it in stride, and we were able to get the power back up to all customers by 3:30 p.m."

Towns affected included: Albion, Belfast, Belmont, Brooks, Burnham, Dixmont, Frankfort, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Lincolnville, Monroe, Montville, Morrill, Northport, Newburgh, Prospect, Plymouth, Palermo, Rockland, Searsmont, Searsport, Stockton Springs, Swanville, Thorndike, Unity, Waldo and Winterport.


A pickup truck is stranded without fuel at a gas pump in Searsport. The closest functioning gas station station was across the Penobscot Bridge in Bucksport. (Photo by: Jordan Bailey)
Gas prices are not displayed and pumps are off at the Sunoco station in Stockton Springs. (Photo by: Jordan Bailey)
Bicyclists in Belfast are directed by local police through an intersection without functioning traffic lights as they finish the Trek Across Maine during Sunday's countywide power outage. (Photo by: Jordan Bailey)
Comments (4)
Posted by: Dana Bierwas | Jun 23, 2014 23:30

"...and we were able to get the power back up to all customers by 3:30 p.m." Actually, that is not true. We were without power here in Searsport until 5:30pm, even though we were not mentioned as an affected town. The power came on for about 20 seconds at 3:30, and then went out for another 2 hours.

Posted by: George W. Smith | Jun 17, 2014 08:00

Perry's store has moved to Searsport ?










Perry's store moved to Searsport ?Good photo of your backhoe of your backhoe Vern!!!



Posted by: Brian Callahan | Jun 16, 2014 17:53

So what caused the outage?


Posted by: Dianne Horton | Jun 16, 2014 07:09

Swanville was included in this black out but is not listed.

From the "Swanvillians"  a term I have often heard used to describe "some" of us!

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