Person struck by lightning as severe thunderstorms hit Maine; 23,000 lose power

At least two people were injured in Friday's storm — one person was struck by lightning and another was injured by a falling tree.
Eric Straseburgh
At least two people were injured in Friday's storm — one person was struck by lightning and another was injured by a falling tree.
By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff
Posted July 19, 2013, at 10:45 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A series of powerful thunderstorms hit part of Maine on Friday, resulting in injuries for at least two people — one of whom was struck by lightning in Woodville and another who was hurt by a falling tree in Greenville.

Details about the accidents — as well as the names and ages of the people involved — were not available at press time, as public safety personnel remained busy late Friday night clearing downed trees and investigating reports of fires and other emergencies.

The National Weather Service in Caribou had issued a hazardous weather outlook notice for central and southern Pisacataquis County, central and southern Penobscot County, coastal Hancock County and coastal and northern Washington County.

The notice stated that there was potential for severe thunderstorms Friday evening, with the highest threat mainly across the central highlands and interior Down East areas. Some of the stronger storms were predicted to bring damaging winds, heavy rainfall and hail. Some storms also may have rotation, the notice stated.

Central Maine Power reported nearly 13,000 customers were without power early Saturday morning, largely in Somerset, Kennebec and Oxford counties.

At 10 p.m., Bangor Hydro reported the number of affected customers had almost tripled to 9,181 from the 3,245 customers without power at 8:30 p.m.

Bangor Hydro crews were dispatched Friday night to restore power to several thousand customers left without service due to the damaging storms. Towns affected included Bradley, Milford, Hudson, Mattawamkeag, Lee, East Millinocket, Medway, Lincoln and surrounding communities. Many of those without service at that time were not expected to see it restored until 4 a.m. Saturday, spokesman Bob Potts said.

Friday’s thunderstorms began wreaking havoc in parts of Aroostook and Penobscot counties about 3 p.m. and still were doing so as of 9:30 p.m., by which time the severe storm action had arrived in Greater Bangor.

A member of the Lincoln Fire Department confirmed reports that someone was struck by lightning in Woodville but did not yet have details. He did, however, say that the person was taken to Penobscot Valley Hospital for treatment.

Also on Friday, the weather service noted that it had received a report that a large tree fell on a person in Greenville, causing injuries, and that another large tree fell on a car in Brownville.

In addition, trees and powerlines went down along Route 11 in Grindstone and in Lincoln.

Numerous other communities reported trees down, including Grand Lake Matagamon, Wytopitlock, Sherman, Reed Plantation, Medway, Mattawamkeag, Patten, Weston, Lincoln, Old Town and Bancroft — where there also was flooding.

Damage reports still were coming in late Friday night.

A strong cold front will cross the region on Saturday, which may bring another round of strong or severe thunderstorms. Heavy rainfall and strong, gusty winds are again possible with any thunderstorms that do develop.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/19/news/state/person-struck-by-lightning-as-severe-thunderstorms-hit-northern-central-eastern-maine/ printed on July 23, 2014