The following is a transcript of an April 10 radio address from Governor Janet Mills:
This is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.
Thursday night and into Friday, a spring storm brought strong winds and heavy snow…it downed tree limbs and caused power outages to more than a quarter of a million people across our state – nearly a third of the state’s electric utility customers.
I mean, we really needed this right?
In the wake of this storm, I have directed the Maine Emergency Management Agency to work with our electric utilities to secure mutual assistance from other states and from New Brunswick and expedite the restoration of electricity as much as possible. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, I have asked them to prioritize hospitals, health care facilities, and food distribution centers.
If you still don’t have power, please know the utilities are working on it.
Well this storm, on top of COVID-19, is pretty frustrating. I know it is frustrating to be asked to meet new and never-ending challenges with courage, patience and compassion.
I know people are tired of being cooped up at home; tired of working on the frontlines away from your family and friends, tired of wondering how long will we have to do this.
And that’s ok.
It’s in difficult moments like these, when these burdens feel sometimes too great to bear, I think of the quote from my four year old granddaughter Noelle’s favorite movie, Frozen 2, maybe you’ve seen it. The quote is:
“Do the next right thing.”
What keeps me going during these times, during this holy week for Christians, Passover for people of the Jewish faith, it’s my faith in you, in Maine people: my faith in knowing that, no matter the difficulty, no matter the challenge, Maine people will rise to do the next right thing.
So, today, I suggest you call a neighbor, make sure they are okay. Thank our front line workers, our health care workers. Hug your kids, they are missing their friends and their teachers and schoolmates. Stay the course. Stay home to beat this virus. Be kind and love one another.
I am speaking to you not just as your Governor, but as a widow. As a mother. As a grandmother. As a friend.
I know there is someone out there you know who would like to hear from you.
Maybe it’s an uncle or an aunt. A grandfather or grandmother.
Your neighbor, or someone in assisted living who’s waiting for that phone to ring. Someone you used to snowmobile with. Someone you used to go fishing with. Maybe someone you played cards with once upon a time.
Call them, ask them to tell you their story. Tell them that you want to hear about the Korean War, or their experience in Vietnam. Or what they remember about their wedding day.
Don’t miss this opportunity; there may never be another one.
Don’t let this moment pass you by.
You know my niece recently made a call to my older brother and spent three hours on the phone with him learning about his experiences during the Vietnam War.
So make the call.
Even if it’s someone you’ve lost touch with, or someone you offended at one time. They still need to hear from you.
We are all in this together, so be kind and do the next right thing.
I have said it before, and I will say it again: please stay home and go out only when necessary. When you do go out, stay six feet apart from other people and wash your hands often. You’re saving lives. We’re all saving lives by staying home.
Friday, Larry Lord, the hero of Franklin County who ushered people to safety out of the building in Farmington before it exploded last September, he finally arrived home.
He arrived home after months of rehabilitation, and he still has a long and difficult road ahead.
So today, as we clean up our roads after the storm, as we restore power, as we do our part to stay apart and stay safe, let Larry Lord’s heroism and his perseverance remind us all that, with courage and kindness like his, we can and will overcome.
This is Governor Janet Mills.
God bless you and keep you safe.
God bless the State of Maine.
Thank you for listening.