BANGOR, Maine — Emera Maine said nearly 15,000 customers remained without power Saturday night due to damage from high winds and falling trees. That number was down from nearly 20,000 in the late afternoon.
Central Maine Power reported more than 2,300 customers without power, mostly in Waldo and Lincoln counties. That was down from more than 6,200.
A majority of the customers affected by outages are in Hancock and Washington counties, but there were hundreds of outages in Aroostook County, according to an outage map on Emera’s website.
Crews have been dispatched to make repairs, Emera reports, adding that strong winds, wind gusts and heavy rain brought down large trees and power lines causing extensive damage.
T he National Weather Service said high winds, high surf and dangerous rip currents could still be expected throughout eastern Maine and the coast for much of Saturday. A flash flood watch remains in effect for Penobscot County and the southern parts of Aroostook and Piscataquis counties. Flood warnings have been issued for Downeast Maine.
The weather service received unofficial reports of 6 inches of rain at the eastern tip of Maine, including the towns of Whiting and Pembroke. Unofficial rainfall totals from the weather service indicated more than 3 inches had fallen in Presque Isle, Houlton, Bucksport, Blue Hill and Ellsworth as of Saturday afternoon. Bath, Topsham and Georgetown saw more than 3 inches and Machias, Eastport and Topsfield had more than 4 inches.
By Saturday afternoon the weather service reported recorded rainfall amounts in many parts of the state, including 2.12 inches in Bangor, which tied the record set in 1973, and 1.94 inches in Caribou, breaking the mark set in 2002. Weather observers have the rain totals for Bangor and Caribou at 3.1 and 2.4 respectively.
“It’s going to continue to wind down as we go through the afternoon hours,” said Dustin Jordan, a weather service meteorologist in Caribou.
250,000 without power in Canada
Arthur weakened from hurricane force on Saturday and pelted parts of southeast Canada with heavy rain and strong winds, leaving 250,000 homes and businesses without power, as the storm swept away from New England.
Arthur weakened to a tropical storm on Saturday morning after having reached landfall on North Carolina’s Outer Banks late on Thursday as a Category 2 hurricane, snarling plans for tourists at the start of the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
North Carolina reported only slight damage from the hurricane, which quickly traveled northeast.
Arthur, now a post-tropical storm, was centered near Moncton in New Brunswick after making a second landfall in Canada on Saturday afternoon, Environment Canada’s Canadian Hurricane Center said.
More than 141,000 customers in Nova Scotia and 110,000 in New Brunswick were left without power due to strong winds and heavy rain that were expected to continue over parts of southeastern Canada through Saturday night.
The still intense storm was expected to move eastward to Northumberland Strait and toward the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence on Saturday evening, the Hurricane Center said. Maximum sustained winds were about 62 mph.
“Basically, it lost its tropical characteristics and has become more a wintertime-type low,” said Daniel Brown, a senior hurricane specialist at the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
Arthur was the first hurricane to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy devastated New York and New Jersey in October 2012, causing an estimated $70 billion in damage.
Arthur hit landfall with top sustained winds of 100 mph, earning a Category 2 status on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. It weakened to a Category 1 as it moved northeast into colder waters of the Atlantic Ocean with 90-mph top sustained winds.
The storm lashed the popular Massachusetts resort island of Nantucket with powerful winds and heavy rain on Friday night.
In North Carolina, Arthur cut power to almost 20,000 homes and businesses, downed trees and cut off barrier islands from the mainland after making landfall on the state’s Outer Banks.
The tourist haven of Ocracoke Island was without main power on Saturday, but a generator was providing power on a rotating basis and officials said power could be restored by late Sunday.
A highway connecting Hatteras Island to the mainland had been blocked, but has reopened. Permanent residents are being allowed back on Hatteras Island, but no visitors yet were being allowed on Hatteras or on Ocracoke Island.
David Bailey of Reuters contributed to this story.
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