Power flickered in parts of downtown Bar Harbor the evening of July 8. PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

Bar Harbor brownouts stir worries

BAR HARBOR — Some Main Street and West Street businesses were briefly without power last Wednesday evening due to an equipment problem, representatives of power company Emera Maine said.

The outage was a frustrating reminder of a longer, more serious service interruption caused by Tropical Storm Arthur over the Fourth of July weekend last year.

“The cause of the outage was a primary metering fault in the underground residential distribution system in downtown Bar Harbor,” Emera spokesperson Susan Faloon said. “There weren’t a large number of customers affected at one time. Customers on Main and West streets experienced some intermittent interruptions, and the Harborside Hotel area had the most prolonged outage while they were being switched to another feed.”

The outage would not have been avoided if the company’s planned new substation had been completed, she said.

West Street Café owner Kevin DesVeaux said power fluctuations during dinner hours were a minor inconvenience. He made sure refrigerators and freezers were all back up and running, and he went home for the night. Then he got a call from the security company after midnight saying the power was out again, he said.

“Of all the things we deal with on a daily basis,” DesVeaux said, “wondering whether we’re gonna have power shouldn’t be one of them.”

Restaurants have thousands of dollars of perishable food on hand at any given time during the season. If they’re lucky, DesVeaux said, the grocery store may be able to temporarily take some food in their coolers, which are backed up by a generator system, or the shellfish wholesaler may send a refrigerator truck.



Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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