April 08, 2020

The Coast;Briefly spared, Mount Desert Island succumbs to darkness

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND– The Ice Man Didst Come here.

After four days of escaping the icy clutches of the great ice-out, residents on Mount Desert Island reluctantly joined the rest of the state in slipping, sliding and salting Friday when they awoke to an ice-covered island.

Power flickered on and off intermittently throughout much of Bar Harbor on Thursday night and Friday, leaving residents without electricity for as little as 30 seconds to 20 minutes at a time. By late Friday power was out over much of the island.

As of Friday afternoon, when rain began to fall over the island, residents in some areas of Bar Harbor were without power, including those at a residential living center for the elderly and disabled, Harbor Hill Estate on Highbrook Road. An emergency shelter was established at the Malvern-Belmont Estate, a residential living center on Mount Desert Street. By midafternoon, several stranded residents had come to the facility and were staying with friends living there, according to Terrence Kelley, Malvern-Belmont’s director.

Officials from the Bar Harbor Fire and Police departments urged those in need of a warm place to use the shelter. “We are going up there now to encourage residents without heat or electricity to move down ,” Bar Harbor Police Chief Nate Young said Friday afternoon.

Residents on the eastern side of the island flocked to area grocery stores to stock up on essentials ranging from de-icing solution to candles and flashlights, before power went out there as well. “I’ve got 15 gallons of water,” said Paul Ahern, a Bar Harbor Banking and Trust employee sent home early for the day. “Lots of liquids, things you can heat up on a gas stove.” Police dispatchers in Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor reported mostly wet, not icy, conditions Friday and said there had been no serious accidents. But as of press time these communities had been without power for an hour.

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