Strong, sustained winds kept the lights out in thousands of Maine homes Friday night, but the number of outages was declining and didn’t come close to what the state experienced less than two weeks ago.

Central Maine Power reported a peak of more than 25,000 outages at 11:15 a.m. Friday. That number had dropped to 7,364 as of 10 p.m., according to the company’s website.

The outages were spread across CMP’s coverage area, but several towns that were hit hard, including Harpswell, also had been devastated by the massive storm that caused widespread damage late last month and into this week. Franklin County had the most outages, with 2,785 as of 10 p.m. Elsewhere, Androscoggin County had 1,393 customers without power, Oxford County 1,054, Somerset 1,034 and Cumberland 699.

CMP spokeswoman Gail Rice said line crews were out Friday dealing with the outages.

“I think this is going to be quicker and not as severe certainly as what we saw,” she said. “We haven’t heard about a lot of broken poles, which is good news. That means restoration will be easier.”

“But we could see those numbers go up until the winds pass through.”


Emera Maine, which serves northern and eastern Maine, had a peak of about 4,300 customers without power late Friday morning, but that had dropped to 397 as of 10:25 p.m.

A cold front moving through the state caused a dramatic drop in temperatures and also brought the first snow of the season to some northern and mountainous areas.

But the wind gusts, which were expected to peak around midday and reach 35 mph across much of the state, were the real problem.

The National Weather Service reported wind gusts of 45 mph in Jackman, 39 mph in Portland and 105 mph on Mount Washington.

“We’re expecting the winds to continue today,” said Margaret Curtis, a meteorologist with the weather service, “but this is nowhere near the intensity we saw in the last storm.”

A powerful wind and rainstorm on Oct. 29 and 30 toppled trees and utility poles across the state and knocked out power to nearly 500,000 homes and businesses. It took more than a week for CMP and Emera Maine to restore power to all customers.


“We restored power to the last customers from that storm on Wednesday,” said Rice, who had expected to have Friday off but was fielding media calls.

In the Androscoggin County town of Greene, a tree toppled by high winds fell on a power line, sparking a fire. Local crews were dispatched to battle the blaze.

High winds also downed a large tree and power lines on Wells Street in front of Pratt & Whitney in North Berwick, according to police. Power was out in that area and the road was closed for several hours.

Rice said CMP had a “full complement” of linesman available Friday, which meant slightly more than 100 two-person crews. She said the utility would contract with others if needed.

Temperatures dropped throughout the day, setting the state up for a potentially record-breaking cold weekend. Temperatures were forecast to be in the low teens in Portland and single digits for the rest of the state by Friday night. On Saturday, Portland will struggle to get above freezing, Curtis said.

The record low for Nov. 12 in Portland is 16 degrees, set in 1976. The weather service is predicting it will be 12 degrees in Portland on Sunday morning.

“We’ll have to wait until Sunday, but that record is currently up for breaking,” Curtis said.

Staff Writer Bob Keyes contributed to this report.


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