Thousands of homes lost power, several flights in and out of the Portland International Jetport were canceled, and a lightning strike sparked a fire that severely damaged a home in South Berwick when a storm system moving up the Atlantic coast moved into Maine late Wednesday afternoon.

More than 3,600 Central Maine Power Co. customers were still without power Wednesday night after thunderstorms packing high winds and lightning rampaged through southwestern Maine. Nearly all of the outages were reported in York and Oxford counties.

Severe storms affecting the mid-Atlantic states from North Carolina to Maine forced the cancelation or delay of several flights in and out of the Portland International Jetport. Flights from New York City, Washington, Newark, New Jersey, and Baltimore were canceled Wednesday evening, and those scheduled to depart from Portland to New York, Philadelphia and Newark were also canceled.

“Weather has been a factor. There have been severe storms up and down the eastern seaboard,” said Zachary Sundquist, a spokesman for the jetport.

In South Berwick, lightning struck a home on 14 Dover-Eliot Road around 4:20 p.m. Photographs showed severe damage to the home after lightning hit a tree causing a gas pipe to rupture, starting a fire inside the home, the town’s fire chief told WMTW and WGME-TV. No injuries were reported.

The weather system that slid into Maine mixed with a wall of warm, moist air that produced strong winds, heavy rain and thunderstorms, said James Brown, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray.


“This air mass has a lot of water in it,” Brown said. “There is potential for heavy rain and flash flooding through Thursday.”

Friday is looking like a nice day, with sunshine and temperatures in the low 80s in Portland.




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