New England

Maine’s Long Island Residents Still in the Dark

Four days after a powerful wind storm hit New England, there are more than 100,000 power outages across Maine. Island residents worry they could be among the last to have power restored. 

Central Maine Power has a goal of getting the "vast majority" of customers on line by Saturday night, but Long Island resident Mark Greene thinks he could be waiting even longer for electricity. 

"One tree can wreak a lot of havoc," he said, pointing to a large tree tangled in power lines, blocking the road outside his home. The east end of Long Island is completely cut off by the tree and downed lines. 

He said this is the longest this island of 200 year-round residents has gone without power. 

"This is working its way into the record books," he said. 

Some islanders have started commuting back and forth to the mainland, just for internet and a hot shower. 

"We’re just getting a little tired of the cold and dark," said Katie Norton. She rides the Casco Bay Lines with her kids after school. They stay overnight with family in South Portland, then get back on the ferry in the morning. 

"People are getting a little cranky about it," she said, but adds that island residents are pitching in to make sure everyone gets through this prolonged power outage. 

"People are really helping each other," she said. 

Long Island’s fire chief has been making house calls to check in on people, especially those without generators. Thursday morning, he used a wheel-barrow to walk through the woods to deliver a generator to Wayne Fitzgerald. He lives on the east end, and can’t drive down his road until the giant tree is removed. 

"There is a sense of community here," said Fitzgerald. Although the isolation of living on an island adds a challenge to the power outage, he said neighbors help each other more than when he lived on the mainland. "It’s a tight community." 

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