Tens of thousands still without power following powerful nor’easter in New England

PORTLAND, Maine — Power restoration efforts in Maine and New Hampshire entered a new day Saturday with more than 100,000 homes and businesses still in the dark, just days after a storm brought strong winds and heavy, wet snow.

Maine’s largest electric utility warned that service may not be restored to some customers until Monday or Tuesday, despite the efforts of 1,125 line crews and 400 tree-trimming crews, officials said. The bulk of the power outages β€” more than 150,000 as of early Saturday β€” were in southern Maine, while New Hampshire had more than 10,000 homes and businesses without electricity.

Central Maine Power reported that there were more than 5,000 damage reports that workers had to resolve during the storm, and that more than 300 utility poles were down, said Jonathan Breed, company spokesman.

It’s been a tough year, both winter and spring, in Maine, the most forested state in the country. About 450,000 homes and businesses lost power during a storm in December, and about 200,000 lost power during an ice storm last month. More than 300,000 homes and businesses were left in the dark during the latest storm, a nor’eas that hit Wednesday evening and Thursday.

Such storms have increased in intensity and frequency over the past decade, Breed said.

β€œAcross the board, we’re facing these stronger, more frequent storms. That is something we attribute to a changing climate,” he said on Saturday. β€œIt certainly explains the trend.”

The storm brought heavy rain and high winds to much of the Northeast β€” including gusts of more than 60 mph (97 km per hour) in parts of New England β€” following storms that brought tornadoes, flooding and more to states farther west.

More than a foot of snow was reported in many parts of northern New England. All told, nearly 700,000 customers in New England were without electricity at one point after the largest April nor’eas to hit the region since 2020, officials said.