Widespread power outage in Aroostook blamed on fallen tree

7 years ago

The power outage that left large swaths of Aroostook County in the dark Tuesday night was caused by a fallen tree around Caribou, according to Emera Maine.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday a tree fell on an Emera transmission line in the Caribou area, leaving more than 21,000 customers without power from southern to central Aroostook County.

“Due to the failure of a piece of equipment designed to contain the impact of an outage, service interruptions became more widespread” than the Caribou area, said Judy Long, spokesperson for Emera Maine.

A majority of affected customers had power restored by 7 p.m. although some 2,600 people were without power until around 9:30 p.m.

Long said that Emera also lost power at its own facility in Presque Isle.

Emera’s system operators were able to bring The County back to power section-by-section, while the line crews found the area with the fallen tree and removed it.

In late August, more than 11,000 customers in northern Aroostook County lost power due to an outage that originated on a transmission line in New Brunswick, which is connected to northern Maine’s grid. A spokesperson for NB Power, which maintains those lines, said that the cause was never determined.

Long said that the Emera is focused on maintaining reliable power and is looking into how the most recent outage happened and how it could be prevented.

“We are investigating this incident further to ensure we are delivering the type of service our customers deserve,” Long said.