At around 9 p.m. April 7 the windstorm hit Cape Elizabeth hard, including our Shore Acres neighborhood. A 30-foot tree trunk crashed onto the power lines across from our house, leaning itself precariously against the cables.
The tree caught fire, our lights went out and a fusillade of a thousand glowing sparks and flaming embers, pushed by the intensely gusting winds, showered down. We called 911, and a small army of folks in hardhats immediately began to respond.
The fire trucks arrived within 10 minutes and quickly sealed off our street, now covered with broken and dangerous electric power cables snaking across the asphalt. Sometime around 2:30 a.m. the Central Maine Power team arrived and began to restore our electricity. By 8:30 a.m. the next day the Cape Elizabeth Public Works crew showed up with their loader, a chainsaw and a dump truck to clean up the mess that remained. Twenty minutes later, unless you knew exactly where it happened, you’d never know anything did.
To those who have come to nonchalantly expect such response, let me assure you that other places do not enjoy anywhere near this level of professionalism and competence. We lived for years in Washington, D.C. Veteran D.C. residents will universally complain that the only element of local government that works in the District is the meter-maid squad.
So, here’s to our Cape Elizabeth hardhats. Thank you for such reliable public service. We know the difference, and we appreciate it.