Maine forecasters and emergency management officials are bracing for a storm that is predicted to bring heavy rain and high winds to the state on Monday, just days after a nor’easter knocked out power for tens of thousands of people and as crews are still working to restore power.
The National Weather Service has issued a high wind watch from noon through 11 p.m. Monday for the coast and several inland counties, according to WGME. The storm is slated to move into the state Monday morning and intensify in the afternoon.
Maine’s electric utilities are still cleaning up from last week’s nor’easter that cut off power for more than 250,000 Mainers. As of Sunday afternoon, Emera Maine was reporting that 10,734 customers were still without power. Central Maine Power Co. had brought its outages down to 37,137.
Officials from the Maine Emergency Management Agency said Monday’s storm brings the threat of additional power outages. The agency is working with the state’s utilities to get additional crews in place to help with the restoration effort, which will prioritize restoration for hospitals, health care facilities and food distribution facilities, according to a news release.
Hospitals have been preparing for a surge in cases of the new coronavirus. Some 58 people across the state were hospitalized with the virus as of Sunday morning.
Winds will be strongest in the afternoon and into the evening along the coast, with wind gusts likely reaching up to 55 mph, according to WGME. Rain will become widespread across the state by noon, and heavy downpours may occur in the afternoon and evening. Rainfall could total 1 to 1.5 inches.
The rain also brings the potential for flooding, as snow from the recent nor’easter melts. This combination is expected to cause river and stream levels to rise, especially in northern and central Maine, where there is more snow, according to MEMA.