Wednesday, 31 January 2018 23:39

Where to go during a catastrophic weather event Featured

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BANGOR - The last time Bangor saw widespread power outages was back in October amid 60 degree temperatures.

But with record lows already seen so far this season, if the right storm hits hear your house, where will you go?

 

"We have a lot of trained people," Bangor fire chief Tom Higgins said. "[We] believe in our policies and procedures, and I think we'd be able to act appropriately for anything that would happen here in the city."

 

In the wake of the catastrophic October wind storm that saw nearly half a million Maine homes lose power, and while in the midst of a bitterly cold and snowy winter, Bangor city officials are working to provide stable shelter for displaced residents.

 

Thoughts might first turn to the largest space in town; the Cross Insurance Center, but its generator would not support systems like a kitchen.

 

Then one might look at Bangor High School. After all it has a cafeteria and a large gym, but what about the kids?

 

"It's hard to cohabitate a shelter and a building where you're trying to have school," Higgins elaborated. "And after an event, we want to get the children back into schools as quick as we can so they can continue their education."

 

Higgins and city council chair Ben Sprague say right now, the most stable location is the Parks and Rec building.

 

"There's good bathrooms there, there's open space for especially children or families to run around," Sprague said. "And there's a lot of space to lay out beds as well, [but} for larger scale, we'd definitely want to open the cross center.

 

As far as making homes livable again, opinions on power company response times after the October storm depended on where you lived. Sprague says the city has made communication with utility providers a major priority as it prepares for a worst-case scenario.

 

"We've tried to build relationships with them so we have a good understanding of what their challenges are as they're trying to get power back up to people," Sprague added. "And I think we can coordinate services to work together for those types of things."

 

David Guildford

Weekend Anchor/Reporter
[email protected]

David joined the news team in March of 2017. First and foremost he is a proud Mainer. Before reporting for ABC7 and FOX22, he interned at WLBZ2 in Bangor, and attended the University of Maine's journalism program.

David was raised in the western Maine foothills, and has been a lifelong viewer of local Maine news. He hopes to bring this perspective to telling the stories of folks in the community.

When not on the job, David enjoys skiing, snowmobiling, spending time at the family camp on Branch Lake, and playing slow-pitch softball with the other Bangor gym class heroes.