By Carol McCracken (Post # 402)
The people lost their power last night – and they got it back late this afternoon. That is, they lost their electric power and all that went with it. That meant heat specifically and hot coffee and a hot breakfast that so many expect on winter mornings. For others it may have meant a restless night because of the howling winds whistling around buildings on the Hill – with high gusts of wind approaching hurricane speeds – and the torrential rains that came in from all directions everywhere!
The Big Apple on Washingon Avenue did not lose its electricity and did a high volume of coffee business. Store manager and Hill resident Patrick said this morning that coffee business was definitely higher than normal. However, coffee giant Hilltop Coffee was closed all day due to the power failure. The Rosemont Market & Bakery next door did not open until around 4 pm – after the electricity was back on and the cash register was working.
Along the waterfront, Portland Yacht Services lost its power until late in the day according to Phin Sprague, Jr. A 30 ft. sailboat belong to PYS employee Rob Benson fell over onto the ground early this morning. It was placed back into its cradle by a crane later in the day. Probably the most extensive damage occurrred at 50 Portland Pier when a rubber roof became detached on one side and caved in due to the weight of the water. A team of trash removers was loading trucks full of debris to be hauled away. “I’ll probably be here all night tonight doing this,” said one of the workers. The red brick office building is about 20 years old.
The nearby DiMillo’s Floating Restaurant & Marina had minor internal water damage. Some of the shrink wrap covering the yachts also had to be replaced because of damage to them. Back up on Newbury Street, Mark Moran was concerned about his apartment building that had developed a leak in the foundation. “I just want the power back. I can’t fix the problem until I have the power back,” he said. His building is next to the Abyssinain Meetinghouse.
Marshall Hebert, substations’ technician for Cenral Maine Power was directing the repair work on Fore Street about 2 pm this afternoon. “I’m surprised we didn’t have more damage considering the strong winds we had last night,” he said. He’s been with CMP almost 39 years. (See above photograph.)
However, it wasn’t until late this afternoon that MHN learned from Ed King, editor of the West End News that power had returned to residents of the Hill. King, who lives on the Hill was relaxing in front of the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization office, “MHNO,” on Congress Street. (Ed was pleased that his bi-weekly free newspaper is now into its tenth year of publication; congratulations Ed!)
Dominic White, a resident of the Hill, said that the power failure kept him from “not being on my computer for the day. It helped me get some chores done,” he said laughing.