BANGOR, Maine - Three lightning strikes at different places blew Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. off the grid for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes shortly before 8 a.m. last Thursday.
According to a press release from the company, an investigation revealed that the first strike occurred somewhere between Orrington and Point Lepreau, New Brunswick. The second one hit between Orrington and Windsor, and the third was in Keswick, New Brunswick.
Aggravating the situation was the fact that a redundant transmission line feeding into the system was out of service for maintenance, leaving the system vulnerable to severe weather conditions, the company said. The simultaneous circumstances causing this event were extremely rare, Bangor Hydro said.
Most customers had power restored shortly after 10:30 a.m. The company attributed the relatively short outage to quick response times due to technology and process improvements that have been made over the past year as part of the company’ s Storm Restoration Project.
Improvements include new internal and external communications procedures, weather monitoring systems, storm assessment improvements and technology improvements such as automatic meter reading.
“While Bangor Hydro delivers power over 99.9 percent of the time, power outages can and do occur for a variety of reasons,” said Susan Faloon, communications officer for the company. “Most outages tend to be localized and of short duration. However, if a widespread outage does occur, it will most likely be due to extreme weather conditions.”