April 05, 2020

Leslie Johnston Hancock More than three days without power

“I sing all the time. There is no sense in getting upset.” He had stocked up on water beforehand. His wood stove kept him warm and he had a gas stove for cooking. He sang for comic relief while he was without power. No song in particular, just what came into his head.

Adam Frost Machias Bell Atlantic line worker Eight days without power

“I was pretty tired at night.” Frost heated his apartment with a propane grill for a few days, then moved to his parents’ home in Ellsworth. Each morning, he would leave Ellsworth for Machias at 4:30 a.m., work a 12-hour shift, and make the 60-mile trek back to Ellsworth.

Michael Mennenga Orono University of Maine assistant basketball coach Two days without power

“We were fortunate enough.” Mennenga recently transferred to Orono from Illinois with his wife. When they heard the television news reporting that Maine was going to get “the worst storm of the century, he said they looked at each other, amazed, and said: “The storm of the century? In Maine?” They moved into a local hotel. “We didn’t miss a beat.”

James and Kathy Jones Whiting Contractor Six days without power

“It was a great family experience. Once I got the home taken care of, I went out with a bunch of friends to strike up wood stoves. A lot of people got together and worked as a team.” He pointed to his wife, Kathy. “She would get rid of me before the wood stove.” Jones laughed and said he learned a lot over those six days – that Bangor Hydro wasn’t kidding when it advertised that electricity was clean and economical. “It sure was for at least five days.” And he learned about supply-and-demand economics, especially in regard to generators. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw them listed two for $1,” he said, still smiling.

Paul Raysik Bradford Forklift mechanic and volunteer at WVOM radio station Two days without power

“We made it through with bottled water, kerosene lamps, batteries and flashlights.” He volunteered at WVOM for eight or nine days. “I was on the phones and I snowmobiled to the top of Passadumkeag Mountain to refuel the [radio station’s] generator. It felt like the right thing to do. And it got rid of cabin fever too.” Raysik’s snomobile crew hauled 22 propane tanks to the generator, which also serves the state police and another radio station. He went up the 1,463-foot mountain a second time in a helicopter with the National Guard to refuel the generator with another 20 tanks.

The Prithams – Robin, Ryan, 6, and Meghan, 9 Bangor Three days without power

“In the morning we played Monopoly by the fireplace,” said Meghan. “Mom and Dad took turns doing fire watch.” “So we didn’t burn the house down,” said her father, Robin. The storm taught Ryan important stuff. After raising his tiny hand, as if he was in a classroom, Ryan blurted out: “This was the first time I learned about carbon monoxide.” And what is carbon monoxide? “It’s a gas that makes you go to sleep forever,” chimed the two youngsters.

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