CAMDEN, Maine — Schools were canceled Thursday as power remains out in much of the Camden area after a strong thunderstorm Wednesday night.
High winds and falling limbs also reportedly damaged several recreational vehicles, injuring one RV occupant, at the Sennebec Campground in Appleton, according to Knox County Emergency Management Agency Director Ray Sisk. Sisk also said in a press release that lightning likely caused a fire at an island home in Friendship. The Friendship Fire Department responded by boat to the island fire.
The storm knocked down numerous trees and lines, the Knox County Regional Communications Center confirmed Thursday morning. Central Maine Power Co. reported that 4,365 customers remained without power in Knox County as of 6 a.m.
Camden took the brunt, with 2,047 customers without power, nearly two-thirds of the total customers in town. In Hope, 941 of 942 customers were without power as of 6 a.m. There were 921 outages in Union, 255 in Rockport and 185 in Appleton.
School was canceled for Camden Hills Regional HIgh School in Rockport, and for the schools in Camden, Rockport and Hope, according to the school’s website, because of the lack of power.
One Camden resident on Facebook posted that lightning struck a utility pole on Park Street in Camden during the height of the storm Wednesday night.
The Knox communications center handled more than 90 emergency calls, keeping area fire, police, emergency medical services and public works crews busy into the early morning hours, according to Sisk. Knox EMA opened its emergency operations center and monitored the situation overnight, he said.
Hope Fire Chief Clarence Keller reported department volunteers responded to four nearly simultaneous calls in different parts of the town, including one reported fire, the EMA director said. Crews there were able to get a break after 2 a.m., the news release stated.
He said CMP is bringing in additional line and tree crews to assist local linesmen in power restoration and expects most customers will have power restored within 24 hours. He advised residents to stay away from downed lines.
Knox was the most affected county, according to the CMP website, with 7,334 outages throughout its service area.