June 18, 2018
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Portland Head Light back on as utilities repair wind storm outages

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Offshore wind gusts of almost 40 mph drive waves against the rocks at the foot of Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth on Tuesday morning.
By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

The beacon at Portland Head Light is functioning again after it went dark as a result of power outages caused by an overnight windstorm.

Jeanne Gross, director of the lighthouse museum and Fort Williams Park, which abuts the Cape Elizabeth landmark, said late Wednesday morning that the light was operating properly.

She was not sure when the power returned, guessing it may have been around 5:30 a.m., when power came back on at her house roughly one mile away. But according to news staff at WGME, the light still was not functioning around 8 a.m.

However, by 10 a.m. it was back on, when WGME reporter/forecaster Lexi O’Connor shared this video on Twitter.

U.S. Coast Guard officials have said no boating accidents were reported while the lighthouse was dark.

Power companies remained working late Wednesday morning to restore electricity to customers who lost it overnight. As of noon, Central Maine Power still had more than 1,700 customers without power, 1,200 of whom were in Cumberland County, while Emera Maine was reporting fewer than 250 customers lacking power.

During the night, high winds knocked out power to more than 3,600 customers in Maine. Between 0.5 and 1.5 inches of rain fell throughout the state overnight, according to the National Weather Service.

Gusts rolled in from the east late Tuesday night ahead of a cold front, escalating in strength throughout the night to average speeds of 35 to 45 miles per hour across the state, NWS forecasters in Caribou and Gray indicated.

The highest wind gust, recorded as 61 mph, was detected in Lubec around 4 a.m., while gusts of more than 50 mph were detected elsewhere along the coast in Hancock and Washington counties. Further inland, wind gusts ranging from 30 to 46 mph were recorded in Penobscot and Aroostook counties. Winds peaked at around 50 mph in Portland and Augusta.

BDN reporter Callie Ferguson contributed to this report.

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