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NC Workers Restore Power in Ice Covered Maine

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BRUNSWICK, MAINE — Some of them had never been on a plane. Some of them had never been ina major snow storm. But relief workers from North Carolina braved badweather and overcame fears to help people in New England stranded by asevere ice storm.

Thousands of people there are still without power. WRAL'sAmanda Lambjoined them on their mission.

The C-17 carrying relief crews from North Carolina were met by blusteryconditions in Brunswick, Maine. But workers who came say it's clear helpis needed here.

"We need to help each other," says Billy Melton. "A lot of people helpedus after Hurricane Fran. We just want to restore their power."

Harry Hammond admits he's never seen conditions like that in Maine down inNorth Carolina. Hammond and his co-workers have never been that farnorth, but they feel they can handle it.

It's 5:15 in the morning. The wind is blowing. It's snowing. It's 10degrees, and it looks like the relief crews have a big job ahead ofthem.

The military donated planes and manpower to help move crews and equipmentto Maine. The first day, there were 210,000 customers without power.

Workers were briefed by members of the Central Maine Power Company whohave worked around the clock to get customers back on line.

"It;s so cold, pipes are starting to freeze," says Nick Vermett of CMPC. "This has been going on for eight days."

North Carolina workers hope they can make the need less critical. Thereare 16 local power crews and 30 tree removal crews in Maine. They saythey will stay there until they get the job done.

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