Winds cut power to thousands

Posted Dec. 10, 2008, at 10:34 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 10:54 a.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — High winds battered Maine’s easternmost counties Tuesday night snapping branches and knocking out power to thousands of residents.

Local fire departments were kept busy responding to reports of tree limbs on power lines and utility crews were out in the early hours repairing downed lines.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service said temperatures were expected to fall overnight Wednesday and another storm is expected to hit the region today through Friday and a winter storm watch with the potential for 10 inches of new snow with freezing rain was forecast.

Most of the power outages occurred in Hancock County where as many as 2,100 customers were without power during the height of the storm Wednesday morning, according to Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. As many as 200 outages were reported in Washington County.

“We had no major damage,” said Bangor Hydro spokesman Matt Chabe. “But, as with any wind storm, we had a lot of tree limbs down.”

Chabe said that the storm that hit the area on Thanksgiving may have weakened a lot of tree limbs that were just hanging on.

By late Wednesday afternoon, Bangor Hydro crews had reduced the number of outages to about 500, most of those still in Hancock County. Chabe said the company expected to have power restored to all customers by Wednesday evening.

The front that moved through northern Maine Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning brought snow and freezing rain creating difficult driving conditions from Fort Kent to Houlton.

The snow turned to freezing rain and sleet just after sunrise Wednesday with ice accumulations around a tenth of an inch. By midday it was back to snow with a total snowfall around six inches.

Due to the hazardous roadways, SAD 27 canceled classes districtwide on Wednesday.

Julia Bayly contributed to this report.

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