Power was expected to be restored to central Maine customers late Monday after the remnants of Oklahoma’s deadly storm brought high wind and heavy rainfall to New England and New York the night before.

More than 40,000 people were without power across the region and the storm led to a tornado warning late Sunday east of Rangeley. The National Weather Service was still investigating Monday if a tornado touched down.

As late as noon Monday, 2,000 customers in Somerset, Franklin and Kennebec counties were among those without power, according Central Maine Power spokesperson Gail Rice.

She said customers started to lose power around 6 p.m. Sunday.

“It was mainly damage caused by heavy rain and wind, with tree limbs and branches hitting power lines,” Rice said Monday morning.

Heavy rainfall combined with last week’s showers softened the ground, causing a number of trees to fall.

“The heavy rains saturated the ground and uprooted entire trees,” Rice said. “Quite a few trees in western Maine came down.”

The most outages were reported in Oxford County where 2,712 customers were reported without power. Somerset and Penobscot counties each had more than 1,000 outages reported. In Piscataquis County, 684 outages were reported, and in Franklin County, 555. 

Rice said power company officials were prepared for the storm, monitoring the weather 24 hours a day, paying particularly close attention to this weekend’s storm.

“With the weekend ending, we were able to put together a good number of crews and it showed with the progress we made overnight, returning power to about 10,000 residents,” Rice said. “We had crews from York and Cumberland (counties) up in the harder-hit counties by 7 a.m. They’ve been working since the early hours of the morning.”

A tornado warning also was issued east of Rangeley, yet it’s unknown if one touched down, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Legrow.

“We’re still looking for information to see if a tornado touched ground,” Legrow said. “There was a stronger storm right around Kingfield that started rotating.”

Legrow said it could take a couple of days to see if anyone comes across damage caused by a possible tornado, which could have occurred in an isolated area.

“We’re looking into places that were nearby and closest to the strongest part of the storm,” Legrow said. “We haven’t had any indication that a tornado touched down.”

The storm across the region was the remnants of the one in Oklahoma that killed more than a dozen people, according to The Associated Press. In addition to the downpours and high winds in New England, pingpong ball-sized hail fell in New York and there was a tornado in South Carolina. More than 40,000 people were without power during the peak of the storm.

Overall, there were more than 100 reports of severe weather ranging from New York to Maine.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239
[email protected]

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