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Nearly 260,000 without power in Maine amid stay-at-home order; companies warn power may be out for days

Some 260,000 electricity customers in Maine were without power Friday in the wake of a powerful spring snowstorm that hit at a time residents have been ordered to stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Central Maine Power reported some 197,000 customers without power Friday morning, while Emera Maine said 64,000 of its customers were affected, cautioning that more could lose power as heavy wet snow downs wires and branches.

CMP has been working throughout the day to clear debris and downed wires while trying to restore power, the company said in a Facebook post.

“We are advising that given the extensive scale of outages, customers should be prepared to be without power for a couple of days,” the company said.

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Emera Maine crews were working to repair hundreds of downed lines in Penobscot and Hancock counties Friday morning, the company said on its website.

“Restoration efforts are expected to continue into the weekend, and more specific estimated restoration times will be shared once damage is assessed,” Emera said.

“The weight of snow on trees and branches, along with high winds, is expected to continue to cause outages Friday morning,” Emera said on its website. “Customers experiencing outages should expect to be without service until later in the day" on Friday.

State offices were ordered closed Friday morning. "Due to widespread power outages caused by the inclement weather, all State of Maine offices will be closed today, Friday, April 10, 2020,'' the state announced.

The Maine Center of Disease Control on Thursday reported an additional two deaths and 23 coronavirus cases Thursday morning, bringing the state’s total count to 16 deaths and 560 confirmed cases.

The stay-at-home order issued by Governor Janet Mills is in place until April 30.

The National Weather Service in Gray is warning that some northern counties could see maximums of three to six inches of new snow on Friday “for a storm total of 4 to 15 inches.” A winter storm warning expired at 2 p.m.

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John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.