WATERVILLE — Cleanup from Friday’s powerful thunderstorm continued Saturday afternoon, as did conversations about the storm’s effects.

The torrential downpour and wind gusts created a crazy atmosphere in the Elm Plaza parking lot in Waterville, according to Andrea Keith, Kmart service desk associate.

Keith said it didn’t take long before sheets of rain turned the paved parking lot into a lake.

Water rose quickly to the door handles on some vehicles, she said.

“We had customers waiting in here and on the sidewalk,” Keith said. “One woman was up to her knees putting groceries in her car.”

Keith said that her boyfriend kayaked on flooded Drummond Avenue in Waterville after the storm concluded around 5:30 p.m.

She said wind gusts estimated between 60 and 70 mph by the National Weather Service briefly knocked out power in the store.

In front of Bath & Body Works in Elm Plaza, employee Jess Labbe said wind was more problematic than water.

“Shopping carts were flying around,” she said. “I was worried that one of them would hit my car.”

Directly in front of the Hannaford supermarket in the plaza, Labbe said flooding was the issue.

She said when a friend opened a car door, sneakers floated out.

Michele Bouchard, a clerk at Beverly’s Card & Gift, said several vehicles were towed from the Elm Plaza parking lot.

“There were a number of angry people,” she said.

A representative of Arbo’s Towing & Repair in Waterville said employees were busy Friday, but he could not comment on the number or the nature of the calls for service.

More than 5,000 customers in eight Maine counties were without power at the height of the storm, according to Central Maine Power Co. on Friday.

The company reported 32 of its 91,542 customers in Franklin and Kennebec counties remained without power as of early Saturday afternoon.

The Waterville Fire Department responded to 10 calls for service from about 4:22 p.m. to 5:40 p.m. Friday; while in Fairfield, police and rescue personnel responded to six complaints of flooding and downed wires and trees from 4:10 p.m. to 5:46 p.m.

A Waterville dispatcher said Saturday morning that all city roads were open.

Messages left with the National Weather Service, Somerset County Emergency Management Agency and Fairfield Police Department were not returned Saturday.

A message left with Kennebec Valley Action Program was also not returned.

Live utility wires and a fallen tree trapped the driver and occupants of a Kennebec Explorer van, which is sponsored by the program, for about 90 minutes on Abbott Street in Waterville.

Beth Staples — 861-9252

[email protected]

 


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