- Associated Press - Friday, December 8, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The October windstorm knocked out power to half a million Mainers and a $200 million smart-meter network that aimed to improve outage communications and storm recovery.

Maine Public reports Central Maine Power representatives say the meters accurately charted the climb in outages until they flatlined midday.

CMP spokesman John Carroll said the storm took down radio transmitters for wireless smart-grids components installed at the top of poles. A federal grant covered roughly half of the grid with customers funding the other half.

CMP CEO Sara Burns said the inability to “ping” meters didn’t slow their storm response. The system’s 100 percent functional today.

But Democratic Rep. Seth Berry calls it a “colossal system failure” leaving taxpayers responsible for cleanup costs.

Lawmakers and utility regulators plan to investigate the storm response.

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