Over half of Maine households lost power in the recent storm, and hundreds of thousands are still awaiting a restoration of service.
But more than 24-hours after the power outages began, some Maine reporters and social media users are starting to ask: Where is Gov. Janet Mills?
People are evacuating. Gas station lines are held up for hours. Homes are flooded. Two people were killed and two people are missing. No statement. No press conference from Gov. Janet Mills. Her press secretary did just tweet about Cadbury Eggs at CVS though. pic.twitter.com/htRRKDQiEv— Mal Meyer (@MalWGME) December 19, 2023
“Wind-speeds exceeded 60mph in several areas, causing widespread tree damage. As the storm exits our area, we anticipate a multi-day restoration effort involving hundreds of crews,” said Central Maine Power, (CMP) Maine’s largest energy provider, on X.
The storm left half of Maine without power, cost the lives of at least two Mainers, and caused significant damage due to flooding and 60mph winds.
As of late Tuesday morning, efforts are underway to restore power throughout the state, but hundreds of thousands of customers remain without service.
Maine’s two primary power providers, CMP and Versant, initially reported that the majority of their customers were experiencing outages.
Although some Mainers have had their power restored, most outages remain as the companies struggle to deal with the number of outages.
The storm left roads blocked by fallen trees or washed away in floods, which has hindered efforts to repair power lines.
CBS news posted multiple images of flood damage throughout Maine.
Flooding also led to the closure of Maine’s Sunday River Ski Resort, the entrance of which was entirely destroyed.
The high winds which left thousands without power also damaged the State’s capitol complex in Augusta, forcing police to close off an area around the building.
The storm led directly to the death of at least two Mainers.
A Windham man, Troy Wilson, climbed onto his roof during the height of the storm attempting to remove part of a tree that had damaged his house.
As he was working on the roof, Wilson was struck and killed by another collapsing tree.
A Fairfield man was also killed by a falling tree as he was attempting to remove debris with his tractor.
Police did not reveal the man’s name.
Gov. Mills has remained remarkably silent following the deadly storm, only addressing the issue by closing state offices on Monday and Tuesday.
Mills has not posted anything to her social media accounts in response to the disaster.
Her silence has led to questions from others on social media, such as Ryan Breton, a New England-based meteorologist.
“Is FEMA being contacted? Federal disaster declaration? 390k customers without power, towns cut off by flooding, at least one person dead… is the press asking these questions for those people?” asked Breton on X.
In September, before Hurricane Lee was downgraded to a Tropical storm, Mills requested a preemptive declaration of emergency from the Biden Administration intended to help support the state in the case of severe damages.
This storm, which has caused more damage than Tropical Storm Lee, has received no response from Mills or her press secretary, Ben Goodman.
Amid the aftermath of the storm, Goodman took to X not to give an update on the state’s response to the disaster, but to post about Cadbury Cream Eggs in CVS.
Mills did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Maine Wire.
UPDATE: After this story was published, and more than 24 hours after 50% of Mainers had been without power, Gov. Janet Mills released a press release saying that she was declaring a disaster emergency. She has still not given a press conference.