Strong winds that gusted over 50 mph felled trees, branches and power lines, leaving more than 10,000 Central Maine Power Co. customers without power Monday night.

Outages were concentrated in Cumberland, Franklin and York counties, with York having the most at more than 2,600, followed by Cumberland with 2,241. CMP posts outage reports on its website. The evening outage totals were the highest recorded Monday, but the number fluctuated during the day.

Power had been restored to all but 1,805 customers by 7 a.m. Tuesday, and the number of CMP’s outages dropped to 1,684 by noon. Oxford County had the highest number of outages at 683, followed by 358 in Cumberland County and 339 in Lincoln County.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for the state that was to expire around 10 p.m..

The Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire set a new record for highest wind gust ever recorded atop the Northeast’s highest peak in February. Stacie Hanes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said a gust of 171 mph broke the 166 mph record set in February 1972.

High winds knocked down a communication tower on Sugarloaf Mountain, she said.

Police said high winds may have contributed to the crash early Monday morning of a tractor-trailer truck along the Maine Turnpike in Wells.

Hanes said Portland recorded one of the state’s highest wind gusts Monday, 53 mph at 3 p.m.

There were multiple reports of trees falling in roads across Maine as well as downed electrical wires, including the towns of Bowdoinham, Bethel, Bremen, Canaan, Cushing, Damariscott, Mechanic Falls, North Yarmouth, Poland, Rumford and Sabattus.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Margaret Curtis told the Associated Press that wind gusts over 40 mph were common across northern New England on Monday, with gusts hitting 55 mph in Newington, New Hampshire, and 53 mph in Portland.

High winds hit much of the nation’s eastern half for a second day Monday, cutting power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses, closing schools, and pushing dramatic mountains of ice onto the shores of Lake Erie.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]


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