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Patriot's Day Storm 2007

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Author Topic: Patriot's Day Storm 2007  (Read 3013 times)
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« on: April 17, 2007, 04:47:19 PM »

About yesterday's storm, I've complied a gallery of the various damage sites here in the midcoast. Many of the peninsulas have impassable roads due to downed trees, some are still without power, and it is thought it will take 2-3 days to restore.
Thankfully the power was back on my peninsula yesterday evening, but Bristol, and parts of Southport and Westport are still in the dark.

This morning I discovered at a large, perhaps 60-70 foot, pine tree had fallen at some point yesterday, striking the side of my business building. Fortunately the building is rather well constructed and held with with no major damage, breaking the tree at the upper third. When you look at the size of the root ball, you have some idea of the force of yesterday's wind.

I have posted them on my company's website.
The link to the photo gallery is -> http://www.atlanticmotorcar.com/Patriot_Day_Storm_2007.htm

73 Old Buzzard Bruce W1UJR

Gratious look at how I support my radio hobby...

Breaking News -- CMP: Worst Storm Since 1998 Ice Storm
Story date: 04/16/2007
By Staff Reporters
(Coverage initiated 4/14 at 10:14 p.m., this update 4/17 11:30 a.m.) Central Maine Power spokesperson Gail Rice said Tuesday, “This is the worse damage since the ice storm of 1998 and there’s a tremendous amount of damage from Kittery to Bristol and even further east.”

Rice said that winds have been clocked from 40 to 80 miles per hour, which has resulted in hundreds of trees down. “At last count, we have 169 broken utility poles and there’s multiple sections of wire down. The coastal peninsulas have been hit hardest, pummeled in fact, and we have not even been able to complete the assessment of damage as yet.”

Rice acknowledged that CMP crews, beginning Monday, were mostly just trying to keep the scenes safe where power lines were down.

“When live wires are down, there’s an immediate threat to emergency responders and to the public at large. Much of yesterday was just about de-energizing the wires and safety, because public safety is our top priority,” Rice said.

Late Monday afternoon and early evening, Damariscotta fire personnel and police went door-to-door all over town to tell people to expect to be without power for four days.

Now, CMP is still working on assessing. In general there’s been no real progress on restoration, though in some areas Rice said some power has been restored.

“We do have crews working on the major, primary three-phase lines, but it will take days to really learn the extent of the damage.” Power restoration will also depend on location, and Rice says CMP will be “plagued” by access. “We can’t even get access right now, there’s trees down over roads and some roads are completely washed-out. We’re having the same problems as everyone else is having. We have to wait for the tree crews to clear the roads before we can get in there.”

Rice reported that during the peak outage yesterday, there were 127,000 without power. “That’s down now to about 105,500 system wide.” Rice explained that Brunswick services the Pemaquid peninsula (Bristol, South Bristol, New Harbor, Round Pond, Chamberlain, Pemaquid, Walpole), and Brunswick reported a peak outage of 34,000 without power, and now it is down 5,000 to about 29,000 plus.

“Unfortunately, the storm is still going,” said Rice, “and repairs just take time.”

Lincoln County emergency management requested assistance Monday morning from the state for Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor for fire support due to severity of storm conditions there.

Tim Pellerin, director of the Lincoln County Emergency Management said he contacted the Maine Emergency Management Agency Governor at 10 a.m. Monday about the storm.

“I called and said ‘I need help, I need people’. They asked me if the National Guard could help, and I said, ‘send them’. At 2 p.m. Governor Baldacci stamped it, and now the National Guard is helping all Lincoln and York Counties, and Portland. They’re in rescue mode.”

Pellerin is referring to the state being designated a federal disaster area.

In Bristol Tuesday morning, Fire Chief Ron Pendleton was out in the field during the storm emergency, and Jeri Pendleton manning the phones. She reported about eight National Guard soldiers were helping Bristol people.

“They are guarding roads that are blocked and guarding live wires that are in the roads, they’re also diverting traffic. They are relieving the fire departments so that we can do our jobs. Right now [11 a.m. Tuesday] they are fighting a chimney fire.”

Pellerin said that about 24 guardsmen are throughout the area helping in the storm effort, assisting in Damariscotta, Newcastle and down the peninsula. “They’re out of Waterville and Augusta Camp Keys. They are supporting emergency crews and assisting with recovery efforts.”

Pellerin is the only one in Lincoln County that can request National Guard coverage.

“There’s no need to evacuate. The fire department is doing a great job knocking on doors and we are about 95 percent complete in making sure that everyone is okay.” Pellerin said the troops are in “rescue mode” and that means checking on the elderly, handicapped and stranded, and broadcasting about emergency shelters that are open. With their Humvees, the National Guard is able to gain access even when roads are completely washed out.

It might be days before the power is restored to many in Lincoln County, and that means houses are pretty dark and cold.

“Bristol residents can go to the Great Salt Bay School in Damariscotta and the Boothbay Elementary School is also a shelter. As long as we can get in and out of the roads, all the residents can get help,” said Pellerin.

Pellerin continued explaining that the guardsmen are responsible for “the other piece”, that’s guarding power lines until CMP is able to confirm if the power is off. “That’s so important to the local responders.”

Pellerin believes that by noon today, April 17, every person will be accounted for in each community. “That’s when we move into recovery mode, helping the community recover from the storm. We’re still not through this. I’m just like everyone else, I’m wet and cold.”

“They are completely overwhelmed,” said L.C. Asst. EMA Director Lori Benner. “We requested the National Guard for barricades and security for the night.”

The Bristol region is another area where first responders are struggling to keep up with calls, and there is a need for outside assistance.

“They are doing all they can do,” Benner said. “They are volunteer departments and this is a work day.”

A lot of trees are down, and there have been power outages that have kept fire and police busy. Roads have been closed off to traffic, either due to washouts or downed trees and wires.

Several officials are keeping an eye on places like Sherman Lake and other low lying areas where potential flooding and washouts could occur.

Benner said as of noontime Monday there were no evacuations but that a lot of roads are washed out.

Rt. 27 was operating on one lane only in the Boothbay Region and that the county agency is urging motorists to stay off the roads as much as possible in the peninsula regions.

According to Benner, local responders are taking appropriate action. Ongoing situations on Mon. included a hazardous materials spill on Rt. 17 in Jefferson, Benner said.

Central Maine Power has informed local officials that power outages may not be repaired in some areas for three to four days, Benner said.

An eyewitness reported on Mon. that the powerful winds are blowing bricks off buildings on the south side of Main St. The bricks are reportedly landing in the travel lane.

The National Weather Service (NWS) weather observation on Mon. in Damariscotta indicated sustained wind velocity of 24 mph from the east-northeast as strong rainfall pelts the area. The barometer is notably low at 29.44 inshes and falling, according to the NWS.

The privately operated Grand Army Weather Station in Whitefield reported on Mon. that rainfall was heavy with easterly winds at only 8 mph, but gusting to 26 mph. for a direct link to the Whitefield Weather Webcam -- click here.

Conditions offshore of Lincoln County were also on the rough side Mon., with the GoMOOS bouy on the Central Maine Shelf reporting sustained winds out of the east at 34.5 knots, gusting to 43.5 knots and wind-driven waves at 20 foot heights. for a direct link to GoMOOS Buoy E on the Central Maine Shelf (and more GoMOOS ocean info) -- click here.

The weather began to get nasty on Sun. afternoon when some precipitation began as rain and then morphed into heavy, wet snowfall. After nightfall, more snowfall and rain was accompanied by winds of 20-40 mph, gusting to 50 mph, according to the NWS.

The combination of heavy rainfall on accumlated snow made for conditions that could cause flooding if drainage is affected by snowfall.

Rainfall is forecast to get heavier as the storm continues to visit through Mon., according to the NWS.

During this period, wind-driven moon tides may cause coastal flooding and rain-swollen rivers and creeks may cause flooding inland, according to the NWS.

At approximately 3 p.m. on Sun. the Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency (LCEMA) issued a broadcast to all Lincoln County fire departments urging them to staff their stations in preparation for the storm. At the time of this posting, nearly all of the fire stations in Lincoln County have personnel on site, according to LCEMA Director Tim Pellerin. Firefighters at these stations are standing by on a 24-hour basis for what may be a tsunami of calls for trees and wires down as well as traffic accidents and other incidents.

"People should hunker down and be prepared," Pellerin said.

The NWS bulletins, as well as other forecasts, call for widespread power outages due to the high winds and heavy wet snow. Scattered power outages have been reported in Lincoln County at the time of this posting, but no major incidents have been reported.

The storm is forecast to taper off late Mon., but Tues, Weds. and Thurs. still have rain in the forecast.

This same storm system has left a path of destruction in it's wake as it moved through the southern US, including tornadoes and baseball-sized hail. It has now moved out to sea and tracked up the Maine coast where it is expected to stall offshore of Maine and strengthen.


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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2007, 05:14:46 PM »

Looks like you guys will have plenty of fire wood for next winter.
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