Submitted by pimpwalkjohnson t3_zorrdi in Maine

I’m wondering how, in a state with this climate, 5 inches of snow can drop power to 15,000 people in one county alone. Why is the infrastructure in this state so bad? Why does this happen every year? I lost power for 18 hours during a mild snowstorm, an inconvenience for me, but a possible death sentence for someone medically attached to electronic devices. What, if anything can be done?



You must log in or register to comment.

Mikerm3 t1_j0oxwh3 wrote

I’m all about the CMP hate train, but did you make a snowball out of the snow we got? that stuff was heavy as hell and it’s going to drop trees on power lines…


BracedRhombus t1_j0pjrxz wrote

Buried cables would be ridiculously expensive for the entire network. Bury them where trees can't be cut back. More money needs to be put into cutting back trees near power lines.


New_Sun6390 t1_j0r22ml wrote

There are very specific regulations on how much can be cut. And anytime the utility starts to get more aggressive with his tree cutting programs people have a cow because they don't want to lose any of their trees. These same people bitch like crazy every time the lights go out during a storm. In my very humble opinion your best bet is to get a standby generator and have an electrician hook it up properly so it doesn't electrocute the line workers when they're out there trying to fix stuff.


BracedRhombus t1_j0tw8sk wrote

That's what we did. The generator is large enough to run the house with no issues, and is electric start. We're at the end of a long run into town, on a back road with only our home on it. We accept that we'll be a low priority, and plan accordingly.


Zxar t1_j0pmpmb wrote

Let's be happy it wasn't windy. It would have been way worse.


farmingmaine t1_j0pvhyf wrote

No one has a beef with the workers at CMP. They are Mainers true and true. We just don’t like the idea of a company in the country Spain running our grid. Our politicians let us down by letting this happen. It has to be the most stupid decision made in the history of Maine. We don’t hate the Spaniards, we just want them to get lost and go home.


New_Sun6390 t1_j0r2bvd wrote

Got news for you. Virtually the entire New England grid is owned by either the Spaniards or the Brits. Some of it is owned by the Canucks. We're in a global economy and currently there is no regulation at any level that forbids foreign ownership of a company. I don't like it either, but that is the way it is.


farmingmaine t1_j0u65cq wrote

Canadians are our neighbors, we are like family. We are family. The British and Spaniards are are only annoying foreigners living the life of a Soap Opera.


20thMaine t1_j0q2ant wrote

Some of the pine boughs around my house were sagging over 10ft with over a foot of snow and ice weighing them down. That’s how. Water is a hell of a force of nature.


Shilo788 t1_j0qy6o4 wrote

My pines take a beating with wet snow but boy they look lovely also. Some droop so low they make snow rooms.


smooothaseggs t1_j0osyj8 wrote

It’s a big ask, but… -don’t keep electrical infrastructure above ground (eliminating wind/tree/weather interference, as it does, quite often at my house) -don’t let CMP call the shots (wait until you see the rate hikes in January 🥺) -go off grid

Most of us are at the mercy of a very fragile, yet expensive system. Hopefully, this will create some innovation and opportunities for us to improve. In the mean time, a dual-fuel generator (maybe one that can tie in to your home’s panel) is a great contingency plan. Solar bank, wood stove, outdoor wood boiler, wind turbines…all things on my mind to help be more self-sufficient.


guggabump t1_j0pllr6 wrote

That’s the answer but the costs would be insane


20thMaine t1_j0q2frv wrote

We say that, but how much money and time is lost repairing the network year after year after year due to relatively predictable events?


New_Sun6390 t1_j0r2ku4 wrote

The cost of underground utilities is indeed insane. There have been a multitude of studies done on this. Essentially imagine adding $100 a month to your residential electric bill in perpetuity. The cost of repairing the infrastructure that's already in place is much less than the cost to bury everything.


haditupto t1_j0ri3r5 wrote

Maine has a ton of ledge rock that would make this impractical in much of the state.


guggabump t1_j0q2ls4 wrote

That’s cost over time though. Putting things under ground would take a ton of investment upfront.


MaryBitchards t1_j0q2vt8 wrote

It would, and when the underground equipment would at some point inevitably fail, it would take a hella long time to repair it.


IamSauerKraut t1_j0q6t94 wrote

They've had 50+ years to be innovative yet have still not arrived at that stage.


New_Sun6390 t1_j0rhjwv wrote

>They've had 50+ years to be innovative yet have still not arrived at that stage.

And what data do you have to back up this claim? Are you saying SCADA, fault detection and sectionalization devices, and advanced metering are not innovative?

Do tell us what you think they should be doing. Start with your qualifications for making such claims.


IamSauerKraut t1_j0rtgx2 wrote

Did not realize I needed a PhD to have life experience. Maybe you should start with the post to which I commented. Then take your acid and go find some pepcid.


New_Sun6390 t1_j0ry9j8 wrote

>Did not realize I needed a PhD to have life experience

Thank you for proving your ignorance on this matter. I gave you three examples of electric grid innovation and you come back with a personal attack. Sweet.


IamSauerKraut t1_j0s92cl wrote

Those innovations do not prevent long stretches of power outages now, do they?


New_Sun6390 t1_j0sqvux wrote

SCADA, sectionalizing, and fault detection absolutely can help to shorten outage duration so you are wrong again.

Weather related outages will happen. Utilities are always striving to improve reliability, bit they cannot control the weather. Learn to deal with it.


IamSauerKraut t1_j0suyap wrote

>can help to shorten outage duration so you are wrong again.

"can help" is passive but not the same as "will help" or "ends outages."

But pat yourself on the back for being... well, I dunno, a dick?


New_Sun6390 t1_j0sy3mb wrote

Well clearly you think you can do a better job operating the power grid. So by all means, apply for a job at the utility and show them how it is done. Dick.


IamSauerKraut t1_j0u6iru wrote

>you think you can do a better job operating the power grid

My initial comment was as a direct response to another's re innovation. Had nothing to do with the strawmen you continue to throw up. Power outages have been an unsolved issue for power companies for decades. Maybe CMP can detect that tree falling over the lines more quickly now than they did in the 70's but as this thread clearly shows, folks continue to be without power in the dead of winter for days on end. Wake me up when the highfaluten innovation of your blessed power companies puts an end to that.


Shilo788 t1_j0qytc4 wrote

Learned the 3 energy source rule. Woostove plus attachments, propane and generator ( solar and gas both). That is my current set up. My S O has a huge genny on a trailer that we use in winter that plugs into the whole house. We only use that if it looks to be a long haul. The solar batteries can carry us for a few days. I won't ever depend on utility companies alone.


meowmix778 t1_j0rq5n2 wrote

Nothing really can be done other than emergency preparation. Get food/water/blankets/battery packs/lamps/etc. you can deal with it. Some people resort to buddy heaters indoors, but remember they need good ventilation and a monoxide detector.

Like everyone else said. It's wet snow and ice. Also mind you these are real people repairing the grid. Working tirelessly and they are risking dangerous conditions to go quickly in restoration or determining the issue.

Just come up with a plan and treat it like a weather emergency. It sucks but that's all you can do. When I lived in NH I list power for like 4 days once during an ice storm.

Really its just part if living here.


Weird-Tomorrow-9829 t1_j0plrzi wrote

Probably because we don’t clear trees back as far as we should. Heavy wet snow, even a mild storm, is going to fell some trees.


mudbutt4eva t1_j0pze5k wrote

Is it because of the dispersed rural nature of the state that the network is so vast and therefore comparatively more expensive? Same as the roads?


chickenispork t1_j0rixpf wrote

You should probably move. You obviously don’t have a gaul to live here.


DarkEyes5150 t1_j0olbp2 wrote

Change the elected officials. Look to help yourself if possible. CMP is a joke that needs complete restructuring.


SeelieForest t1_j0oqr4n wrote

Sorry, it's lesser of two evils from now until we are all dead. Vote blue and just accept the status quo... forever.


DarkEyes5150 t1_j0orc3z wrote

Term limits


SeelieForest t1_j0osr9n wrote

Yea yea, we can all imagine a million ways things could be better. Congratulations.

Here is my counter about our leaders will continue to be corrupt and do what they want, while the will of the bottom 90+% have no statistical impact on policies.

No? Well, I don't care. You are going to keep voting to support it each year anyway. So just be quiet and keep doing your part.


Stunning_Ad9784 t1_j0pl0k8 wrote

Tress, debris and CMP are all problems, but the gas rate is high and your power is based off those prices. No one wants to cut back tree branches over the roadways which causes 2 issues, downed lines and poor road conditions. Maine is a poor hire state has been for a long time. The capable body's tend to leave for more pay and better conditions. Blame CMP all you want but the root is much deeper. Hydro out of Canada??? Biomass plants??? It's all there but people would rather overwhelm the system with 500 acres of farm/ forest field with solar arrays. Time to get a gen set if you can't handle the Maine conditions.


800grandave t1_j0pvkze wrote

lol you can sum up this comment with “weather sucks” prob in the wrong place, flatlander


Shilo788 t1_j0qxxda wrote

Quit griping and get a generator like everyone else. Until all electric is underground in a state filled with trees its gonna happen. Be prepared.


FrenchToaststrea t1_j0sty9g wrote

When I was living in Texas we got some ice and 1500 people died. we’re out power, some their houses because of freezing pipes. I moved here knowing that power problems happens during snow and winter storms. I was only out 8 hour and I live in a camper with a generator. I didn’t even have to run the generator before they had the power back on. Plymouth/dixmont/ Detroit area has done so well. This is the second repair they have done within 8 hours of power loss. Prepare for the worst.


farmingmaine t1_j0pupap wrote

It’s safer and quicker to shut the power down and get the tree workers and line men in and out.


dionyszenji t1_j0olevc wrote

Is it possible that right wing terrorists took it out as in other states?


Lama1971 t1_j0prvcu wrote

It was a lot of white aggression but not that type.


another_one_1886 t1_j0pq7y7 wrote

Pretty sure there wasn’t an excessive amount of drag shows planned during a snow storm.


indyaj t1_j0pugtx wrote

You need to step away from the internet for a few days. Or months. Go outside and make a snowman.