Danny fizzles with little effect on Maine coast

Posted Aug. 30, 2009, at 9:20 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:57 a.m.

Tropical Depression Danny came and went from coastal Maine this weekend with little effect other than heavy rainfall Saturday evening, according to officials.

Emergency response dispatchers along the coast said Sunday that the downpour and some trees felled by high winds resulted in relatively few emergency calls. Some departments reported receiving calls about tree limbs on power lines and isolated power outages, but no serious incidents were reported on land or at sea.

Dispatchers on Mount Desert Island on Sunday reported minor flooding in area roadways the day before. There were some sightseers along the shore Saturday in Acadia National Park, but the wind and rain kept most people in their cars and their visits relatively short, according to a park dispatcher. A larger turnout was seen in the park Sunday, after Danny’s cloud cover had passed through and the sun came out.

According to AccuWeather.com, about 1½ inches of rain fell Saturday in Rockland while the Bangor, Bar Harbor and Machias areas each got about 2 inches.

On Saturday morning, the approaching rain led organizers of the American Folk Festival in Bangor to decide to close some of the event’s uncovered stages as a precaution.

Despite the rain pounding sideways Saturday afternoon and choppy waves beating against boats moored outside in Rockland’s harbor, Harbor Master Ed Glaser said Tropical Depression Danny wasn’t making much of an impact at the time.

“Danny is certainly a confused storm,” he said as he checked the most recent updates from the government-run Hurrevac system. “It’s just spinning out some moisture out here. That’s what we’re getting.”

Though earlier forecasts from the National Weather Service and national park officials had predicted that Danny might dump as much as 4 inches of rain on the midcoast and 5 inches on Acadia National Park, by 11 a.m. Saturday only 1 inch of rainfall was measured in Camden, according to the town’s fire chief. The National Weather Service said Friday that the storm swells from Danny could produce “dangerous surf conditions and life-threatening rip currents” on the East Coast, which Maine officials did not take lightly just a week after rough surf from Hurricane Bill killed a New York City girl and injured several other people near Thunder Hole in Acadia.

Danny was downgraded to tropical depression status about 5 a.m. Saturday, although Glaser said there still were predictions that it could strengthen as it moved north.

He said some schooners and the small cruise ship American Glory had moved into more protected harbors as a safety precaution and that the cruise ship Grand Caribe had skipped a scheduled stop at Port Clyde and went to Portland instead. However, he hadn’t noticed that many dinghy owners had hauled their boats before the storm hit.

“I imagine by the end of this there will be a lot of boats with a lot of water,” Glaser said.

Up the coast in Camden, the storm caused a few boats moored in the outer harbor to be moved from their floats, said Deputy Harbor Master Scott Entwhistle.

“Boats have been rocking in the outer harbor, going in the troughs,” Entwhistle said.

All but one dinghy had been moved from Steamboat Landing, he said.

The less-than-expected rainfall was good news for those who monitor Camden’s intricate lake and dam system, said Fire Chief Chris Farley.

“The dams are all good,” he said. “We’re just monitoring the water levels in the lakes and the dams, and it’s pretty quiet.”

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