AUGUSTA — A lightning strike knocked out electricity for several thousand central Mainers Wednesday evening.

Lighting hit a pole and knocked a major transmission line from a Manchester substation to the ground, according to Central Maine Power Company officials.

Initially the approximately 4 p.m. strike resulted in more than 7,600 customers losing electricty, according to Gail Rice, a CMP spokesperson. The company was able to switch some customers to a different feed, but as of 9 p.m. Wednesday about 5,000 customers were still without power.

Rice said power was expected to be restored to those customers by around midnight.

She said the pole which was hit by lighting was in a remote area and excavators and other vehicles with tracks were needed to get to the site.

Rice said just before 9 p.m. the pole had been replaced but more work remained to be done.

Most of the outages were in the Winthrop area, but some customers lost power in several area municipalities including: Augusta, Farmingdale, Fayettte, Hallowell, Litchfield, Manchester, Monmouth, Readfield, Wayne and West Gardiner.