Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

More than 72,000 Mainers are still without power Wednesday night as a fall storm brought high winds and heavy rain into the state.

As of 6 p.m.,Central Maine Power reported 53,194 customers were without power, with the largest outages concentrated in Cumberland (5,115), Kennebec (10,631), Lincoln (7,093) Sagadahoc (6,150) and Waldo (7,385) counties. Northern and eastern Maine were initially spared the brunt of the storm, but by midday strong winds brought more widespread outages, with 19,477 reported across Versant Power’s service area.

Outages peaked about noon at nearly 120,000.

By Wednesday afternoon, winds had gusted as high as 52 mph in Bangor and 62 mph in Bar Harbor, according to the weather service. Winds are expected to blow over 40 mph throughout much of eastern and northern Maine, according to the weather service. The weather service warned about noon of severe thunderstorms rolling through Aroostook County that could produce winds up to 60 mph.

As of Wednesday night, the highest gusts recorded by the National Weather Service office in Caribou were 46 mph in Houlton, 46 mph in Presque Isle, 51 mph in Caribou and 54 mph in Frenchville.  

Strong winds brought down trees and power lines on Warren and Third streets in Bangor as a storm rolled through on Wednesday. (Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN)

The weather service in Caribou recorded 1.01 inches of rain making it the 2nd driest September on record. Aroostook County has been declared a “drought disaster” area as the region has faced a prolonged dry spell this summer. 

To the south, winds are forecast to reach as high as 48 mph in Rockland, 49 mph in Portland and 47 mph in Lewiston, with the winds forecast to peak over the next few hours, according to the weather service’s Gray office.

A downed tree blocks a walkway in front of a house on Silver Road in Bangor. Credit: Heidi Martin / BDN Credit: Heidi Martin / BDN