For tree removal crews, linemen it's a tough slog

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A lineman works to connect electrical wires to restore power to a section of Nutes Road in Milton on Tuesday. (Rochester Voice photo)

Lewis Tree Service of New York and utility linemen out of Methuen, Mass., played leapfrog on Nutes Road in Milton on Tuesday, first one clearing downed trees from dead power lines and then the other coming in and restoring the power to individual customers and specific grids.

It was the equivalent of urban guerrilla fighting for the Eversource subcontractors, a painstaking process that turns the lights back on street by street safely.

The toughest restoration battles were in Lebanon, Maine, where 75 percent of homes still had no power as of today. In all, CMP reported that in Lebanon 2,400 of 3,100 customers still were without power. In York County, 32,000 remain in the dark.

Meanwhile, substantial strides have been made in Milton where 80 percent of Eversource customers are back on the grid; and Rochester where 95 percent have their power back.

CMP said in a press release today that it has restored power to more than 160,000 customers who lost service after the wind and rain storm tore through the state early Monday. By 9 p.m. Tuesday, outages had dropped to an estimated 242,000 customer accounts from a peak of 404,000 at midday Monday.

"Crews have made tremendous progress so far today (Tuesday), and that will continue through the night and into Wednesday," said CMP President and CEO Sara Burns. "Most important is that we've accomplished this without a single safety incident or injury."

CMP's storm recovery workforce now totals 1,800 people, 800 of whom were added on Tuesday.

CMP officials said the majority of customers will have their power back by late Saturday.

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