Governor Paul R. LePage has signed a limited Emergency Declaration in an effort to restore power quickly to Mainers. The Governor's proclamation waives Federal Department of Transportation rules and extends the hours of service for workers, and allows additional crews from Canada to assist with repairs.
"This effort will allow power crews to restore power in areas that sustain damage," Governor LePage said. "The ability to have electrical service repaired quickly is critical to protect public health and safety of Mainers."
The Governor and the Maine Emergency Management Agency continue to monitor the weather as this winter storm exits Maine. For more information regarding the storm log on to http://www.maine.gov/mema/ According to the New England Weather Service, a large portion of southern and western Maine will see a foot or more of snow, with localized amounts approaching two feet or more. In addition, strong winds along the coast will produce white-out conditions at times.
The Office of the Governor has communicated with Central Maine Power and Bangor Hydro officials who have utility trucks fueled and equipped to provide storm response. Both utilities have been coordinating its storm preparation efforts lining up contract crews to assist local crews if the storm causes widespread damage.
"It takes a tremendous amount of effort to prepare for and clean-up these winter storms, but we are well-equipped," said Governor LePage. "I would like to remind Mainers to stay clear of downed power lines and take the proper precautions when operating generators. Stay safe during and after the storm."
For more information on safety tips log on to http://www.maine.gov/mema/
The text of the limited Emergency Declaration is as follows: State of Maine
Governor's Emergency Proclamation for US DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours of Service Waiver
WHEREAS, the State of Maine is experiencing the effects of high winds, snow and storm conditions that have the potential to block roads and put thousands of Maine homes and businesses out of power; and
WHEREAS, work crews will have to work many hours to clear roads and restore power; and
WHEREAS, power restoration crews may be requested from other service areas and states and potentially Canadian provinces to assist in power restoration; and
WHEREAS, federal rules determine the number of hours the driver of an electrical line repair vehicle may operate; and
WHEREAS, drivers of such vehicles must cease operations when they reach the federal limit on hours of operation, and therefore would have to cease power restoration; and
WHEREAS, these conditions threaten public health and safety and endanger the property of Maine homes and businesses; and
WHEREAS, these conditions are expected to extend until February 12, 2013; and
WHEREAS, the declaration of a State of Emergency will facilitate the granting of a waiver from the US the U.S. Department of Transportation - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration pursuant to 49 CFR part 390.23 to allow relief from 49 CFR parts 390 through 399, specifically 49 CFR part 395 Hours of Service of Drivers, and subject to the limitations described below, and therefore allow drivers of electrical line repair vehicles to operate additional hours, and
WHEREAS, motor carriers that have an Out-Of-Service Order in effect may not take advantage of the relief from regulation that this declaration provides under 49 CFR 390.23
NOW THEREFORE, I, Paul R. LePage, Governor of the State of Maine, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of Maine, find that these conditions constitute a civil emergency under 37-B M.R.S.A. section 742, and for the purpose pursuant to 49 CFR part 390.23 of facilitating a waiver to the U.S. Department of Transportation - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, specifically 49 CFR part 395 Hours of Service of Drivers, do hereby declare that a State of Emergency exists as of February 8, 2013 through February 12, 2013.