Just a few days after power was finally restored to nearly all of the hundreds of thousands of Maine customers who lost it in last week's storm, about 28,000 people are once again without it at this hour.
The culprit, once again, is gusty winds. The National Weather Service says winds are now gusting at 20-30 miles per hour across the state, with some gusts up to 40.
Central Maine Power is reporting just under 22,000 outages. CMP spokeswoman Gail Rice says these winds are causing more outages than usual because of last week's storm.
"Many tree limbs and branches that were weakened by the storm Oct. 30, are breaking free now and are coming in contact with lines," she says.
In Emera Maine's territory, just under 6,100 customers were without power as of about 1 p.m. Company spokesman Bob Potts says the numbers are likely to climb somewhat over the next few hours, particularly because when winds are this strong, it's not safe for workers to be out in buckets working on the lines.
"Our crews are out working right now for as long as they're able to do so safely," he says. "They may have to take a break if the winds continue to increase in strength. But as soon as those break we'll have a full slate of workers out there working on restoring power again."
Potts says by the time the winds die down, it'll be dark and workers will focus their efforts on getting power to essential services, such as hospitals and nursing homes. But he says Saturday morning crews will be out in force.
The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory through 8 tonight. Forecasters say the winds are expected to calm down later Friday, and aren't expected to be nearly as bad as the Oct. 30 storm.