Release Date: 12-23-2014Emera Maine’s Storm Response Team has been monitoring the weather forecast as yet another holiday storm is headed our way. Field crews, customer service, dispatch, and other personnel have been placed on standby beginning Christmas Eve and through the holiday to be prepared should power outages occur. Meteorologists are predicting mostly rain from the storm that is expected to pass through Maine over the next 72 hours, but strong winds and wind gusts in excess of 45 miles-per-hour could cause trees and tree limbs to fall onto power lines causing outages, especially along the coast. “We are thankful that heavy snow isn’t expected this time around,” said Rick Manning, Director of Transmission Initiatives for Emera Maine. “But strong winds in the forecast always cause us to take notice and place extra people on stand–by. In addition, some areas may see icing, so the potential for outages exists and, as always, we work to be as prepared as we can be up front.” If forecasts hold true, this will be the fifth major holiday in just over a year where severe weather has impacted Emera Maine customers and utility workers. “We are hoping that Santa intervenes this week so that our customers will be spared outages, and our employees will be able to spend time at home with their families,” Manning added. In the past 13 months, Emera Maine has been hit with major storms on both Thanksgiving and Christmas 2013, Hurricane Arthur on July 4, another major storm November 2 (the largest since the Ice Storm of 1998 in terms of customers affected), and a major snowstorm this past Thanksgiving. As always customers are reminded to stay clear of fallen power lines and trees near or touching them. Locating account numbers in advance and programming the Customer Service Center phone number into cell phones can help speed up the reporting process. Anyone using alternate heat sources and generators is reminded to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. The Storm Response Team will continue to monitor the storm’s track and modify staffing plans as needed. They also will be leaving out extra cookies and milk in case Santa sees fit to bring better weather. Customers can get the latest outage information and view our Live Outage & Restoration Map. Outages can be reported through our online outage report form or by calling our Customer Service Center at 1-855-EMERA-11 (1-855-363-7211) Local: 207-973-2000.