September 20, 2020

Bruce Wood Belfast Sawmill worker At least 11 days without power

“We’re doing all right because we had a wood stove and a gas stove and we got a generator about three days ago. We got our water by catching it in buckets when it melted off the roof.”

Laurie Ireland Swanville Occupational therapist At least 12 days without power

“I had a wood stove and gas grill. My husband just divorced me so I was cursing him in Florida. I was just worried to death about trees coming down on my roof. My other worry was my horses. Horses need a lot of water and I’ve spent a lot of time melting ice on my gas grill. I work in the schools and, luckily, I had time off to care for my horses. They are my babies.”

Dot McMahan W. Penobscot Retired teacher Two days without power

“I played about a thousand games of solitaire. With cards. Instead of on the computer.” Because she had hot water, several neighbors were invited over to take showers. The McMahans had “a wood stove, lamps and a good supply of candles.” The shortage “wasn’t too bad. I was really concerned about the elderly people.”

Robert Briggs Hampden President of Bangor Hydro Two days without power

“We were fine. We used the wood stove for heat and to cook on and candles and oil lamps.” Briggs said while he was at work, trying to guide the company’s power crews on ice-covered roads, members of his family without electricity gathered at his home in Hampden. “We got along fine.”

Don Winslow Hermon Bangor Police Department lieutenant Four days without power

“I was one of the lucky ones. I’ve got a wood stove and a generator. So we wound up having some neighbors come over and making our generator available so others’ pipes wouldn’t freeze.” Winslow played board games with daughters Melissa, 17, and Meredith, 14, and his wife, Dora, and “had some neighbors over for dinners and things like that.” It got a little rough “about three-four days into it” when his daughters decided they didn’t want to live without their hair dryers any longer.”

Tasha Jamerson Bangor Reporter, WABI-TV, Channel 5 One hour without power

“I was lucky. I was very fortunate.” A friend motioned that, no, Jamerson wasn’t that fortunate. She did lose her cable for four days. “But I have nothing to complain about.”

Amanda Osborne Brewer Fourth-grader Three days without power

“We have a wood stove. We kept that going.” Three neighbors came to stay with her family of four. For three days straight, she said, they all played Uno. Oh, yeah, she added with a grin: “We lit a lot of candles.” She also celebrated her ninth birthday – which fell during the storm – a week late.

Evelyn Page Co-proprietor, Hancock Grocery Three days without power

“We didn’t have as hard a time as other people,” Page said. “We were very fortunate.” Page and her husband, Gil, lost about $1,000 worth of ice cream and frozen food during their three-day outage Jan. 8-10. Local contractor Hancock Homes lent them a generator enabling them to stay open.

Astri Brooks Hampden Homemaker Six days without power

“We were lucky. We have a wood stove which we use for heat all the time. And, we have a stove range.” On Sunday, to brighten fast diminishing spirits, the Brooks family threw a neighborhood soup party for about 40 neighbors. “The evening, the darkness, was so depressing. The only thing that keeps you sane is to get together with other people.”

Pat Farnsworth Pushaw Lake Owner of Pat’s Pizza in Orono Nine days without power

“I spent most of my time at work.” Pat’s Pizza was open throughout the storm with no electricity for four days. “We used generators to keep the doors open.” The restaurant was full of people who wanted a warm place to go and a hot meal. “It sure was hectic but we got it done.”

Terry MacTaggart Hampden Chancellor, University of Maine System Two days without power

“We had a Coleman stove and a warm living room. Our neighborhood is a neighborly place anyway, but this brought out more interest in helping out the person down the street. People were offering firewood around. Some other neighbors helped clear limbs off. It was kind of an outpouring of cooperation and real concern for how people were getting along.” One neighbor ran a 200-foot extension cord to the MacTaggarts’ house, but the electricity came on before it could be put to use.

The Orlofskys – Steve, Carol and Katey, 7 Surry Teachers at George Stevens Academy, Blue Hill; Pupil Two days without power

Carol Orlofsky said husband Steve, band director at George Stevens Academy, went to South Portland at the beginning of the storm for the All State Jazz Festival. Carol and daughter Katey stayed home and faced the ice together. “He bailed out, and we knew it was coming. To prepare we loaded the wood box, drew water and found lots of candles. … [Katey] found out she likes playing by her own rules.” Mom and daughter also tried something they had never thought possible: “We did ice skate on the lawn …”

Joyce Chamberlain Searsport Quality control worker Nine days without power

“The first night it was hell because I’m recently widowed and was all alone and completely in the dark without heat. The next night I was kept up by the sound of trees falling. The next night I spent in the shelter at the Waldo County Jail, the next night in a motel and the next couple of nights at the shelter at the Harbor Hill nursing home in Belfast. I spent the last few nights with my brother once he got his heat back. It seemed like I was just packing my bags and baggage from one place to another.”

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