Damaged trees and electrical wires were reported across Somerset and Franklin counties Monday afternoon, cutting power to thousands, as the area weathered strong wind and golf ball-size hail amid tornado and thunderstorm warnings.

No serious damage was reported by mid-afternoon as the worst of the storm cleared the area, though there were reports of trees blocking traffic on some local roads.

More than 4,000 customers of Central Maine Power were without electricity Tuesday morning, with most of those — about 2,800 — in Somerset County, according to the company’s website.

In addition to severe thunderstorm warnings and a flood watch in the Skowhegan area, the National Weather Service on Monday also issued a tornado warning in southern Somerset County and central Franklin County, although no tornadoes materialized.

“We still haven’t heard of any reports of tornadoes, and there are currently no warnings left (in western Maine),” meteorologist Tom Hawley of the National Weather Service said around 4:30 p.m. Monday.

WCSH 6 meteorologist Todd Gutner reported via Twitter at about 6 p.m. Monday that a tornado had been confirmed in the Aroostook County town of New Sweden, just north of Caribou.


The state usually has about one or two tornadoes per year, on average, according to Hawley.

Earlier in the afternoon, the weather service had issued severe thunderstorm warnings for northwestern Waldo County, southeastern Somerset County and northeastern Kennebec County as well as a flood advisory for southeastern Somerset County around the Skowhegan area.

More than 70 reports of trees and wires down came into the Somerset County Emergency Management Agency in a less than two hours Monday afternoon, but none of the reports involved serious damages or injuries, Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Smith said.

“It’s been busy — literally nuts,” Smith said, “but so far there hasn’t been anything major.”

In Franklin County, there were reports of golf ball-size hail and strong wind in the Kingfield area, as well as trees down in the Eustis and Rangeley area, said Franklin County Emergency Management Agency Director Tim Hardy.

The administrative assistant to Kingfield’s Board of Selectmen, Leanna Targett, said the hail was “definitely” golf ball-size. She said around 2:30 p.m. that the hail had stopped and turned to rain.


Kingfield’s Road Commissioner Bruce White said despite the weather, he had not seen any property damage. Somerset County dispatch reports also indicated reports of trees and wires down in Solon, Starks, Norridgewock, Skowhegan, Industry and Harmony.

In Solon, Town Clerk and Tax Collector Leslie Giroux said it was raining so hard Monday afternoon that she couldn’t tell whether there had also been hail in the mix or just rain. She said the Town Office received several reports of trees down, including one across U.S. Route 201, but she had not heard any reports of serious damages.

Capt. Jason Frost, of the Skowhegan Fire Department, also said that while the department was busy responding to several calls Monday afternoon, he didn’t know of any serious damages.

“It’s mostly a lot of trees down and a lot of wires down,” he said.

Staff writer Madeline St. Amour contributed to this report.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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