At 2:00 pm this afternoon, Bronson Jarrard, became a free man – finally, after being prevented from driving his car to work – due to complications from the strong winds that hit Portland and the state of Maine hard.
That was when a crew from Central Maine Power arrived at his Black Camry and deadened the live wire that was wrapped around the outside mirror of his car – not permitting him to use his car to get to work. His car was parked in front of his apartment next to Breggy Oil Service on Congress Street on Munjoy Hill.
Just after 2:00 pm, Bronson, recently moved to Portland, drove off in his car – a free man! Shortly thereafter the sun made a brief appearance before another downpour soaked the area again.
Evan Steven who lives near the fallen tree on Munjoy Street said he heard the strong wind blowing around his house all night. “The building was shaking,” he said. He wasn’t surprised to learn of the fallen tree this morning. According to the city today, winds gusts were up to 69 mph during the storm’s peak.
“I was getting ready to make grape jam early this morning. I was peeling my Concord grapes and the lights were flickering the whole time. We finished the job by oil lamp because the lights finally went off,” said Erin Koch, a Vesper Street resident. “I don’t know when I’ll be able to finish.” (See below right photo.)
Most restaurants are closed on Monday. But convenience stores on the Hill are not. The Hilltop Superette at North and Congress Streets opened just after noon when the power came on after having been off since 10:00 am. But the power went off again later in the day, so the popular convenience store closed for the day about 3:30 pm.
Rosemont Bakery opened shortly after noon as well, but had to close because of difficulties with the electric cash register. For a while, the popular bakery and gourmet store was accepting cash only.
Phil Boyd, a disabled veteran who lives at Portland House on the Eastern Promenade, said that his power had been out for six hours today. Boyd was doing some shopping at Hilltop during the several hours the store was open today. There was a long line of people at the Hilltop stocking up for the next few hours or day – until the power is restored to the Hill. No one seems to know when that will happen.
Gisele Abdul, said her power went out during the night when she was sleeping. The gracious and well-spoken Gisele arrived on Munjoy Hill from East Africa just about a month ago. She is awaiting the safe arrival of her husband and four children from her home country because it is a “country at war. God will get it done. I always believe in God,” she said.
A Central Maine Power man freeing the car belonging to Bronson Jarrard referred to above, told this blogger that 400,000 statewide were without electricity. “MaineBiz” newspaper reported late this afternoon that 450,000 statewide are without electricity.
The city is urging parents taking their children out to Trick or Treat tomorrow to do so carefully – don’t go on streets that have no power and are dark, be viligent for obstacles on sidewalks and on streets and use flashlights as you make your candy rounds.
To report a downed tree, please call the city’s parks department at 207 – 808-5400.
(Note: On August 10, 2017, power was lost to the Hill for about 4 l/2 hours. That was when a construction worker in a lift working on a renovation on Merrill Street accidentally hit a power line. Please visit the blog herein dated August 10, 2017 for more on that incident.)