Possible tornado spotted in Maine as weather service warns of severe thunderstorms

Posted Sept. 11, 2013, at 4:59 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 11, 2013, at 6:02 p.m.

CARIBOU, Maine — The National Weather Service has upgraded what began as severe thunderstorm watches to a tornado warning for parts of Penobscot, Piscataquis and Aroostook counties.

As of 4:14 p.m., the Caribou office’s Doppler radar indicated what appeared to be a tornado near Oxbow Plantation, about 40 miles north of Patten, according to a warning posted on the weather service office’s website. The possible tornado, which has yet to be confirmed, reportedly was moving east at 40 mph.

A preliminary local storm report issued about 5 p.m. indicated that there were widespread reports of trees down along Route 11, where an Aroostook County sheriff’s deputy’s ability to travel was impeded by downed trees, a county emergency dispatcher confirmed.

Meteorologist Rich Norton said that deputy reported to the weather service that several people with chain saws were cutting away fallen trees and limbs to free the deputy.

There also were reports of downed trees and similar thunderstorm damage in Littleton and Monticello, the dispatcher said.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m., the weather service’s Gray office issued warnings for six counties. Hot and humid weather roasted the state throughout the day.

Forecasted severe weather includes high winds and severe thunderstorms capable of producing hail.

Severe thunderstorm warnings, watches and advisories remain in effect through 10 p.m. for all but coastal Maine, where a hazardous weather outlook was in effect.

In addition, a flood advisory in effect for central Aroostook County through 7:45 p.m.

Watch www.bangordailynews.com for updates.

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