A storm packing heavy rain and powerful wind gusts Thursday morning gave way to bright sunshine and clear skies over most of southern Maine by the afternoon.

While the rain and wind were pummeling coastal areas and knocking out power throughout the morning, heavy snow was falling in the mountains and northern areas.

Newry reported receiving 8 inches of snow and Carrabasset Valley got 11 as of Thursday afternoon, said Derek Schroeter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray. Most coastal towns reported receiving less than an inch of snow, with Arundel receiving 1.58 inches and Buxton 1.49 inches.

Central Maine Power reported more than 19,000 customers were without electricity at the peak of outages shortly before 11 a.m. The outages decreased significantly during the afternoon and as of 11 p.m. CMP’s website was reporting 3,680 outages. Franklin County had the most with 2,197, but Cumberland County had decreased to just 337.

A pedestrian’s scarf dances in the wind on Congress Street during Thursday morning’s wind and rain storm. The storm cleared up by early afternoon. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

The midcoast area was particularly hard hit early in the day, CMP spokeswoman Catharine Hartnett said, with Sagadahoc County accounting for more than 5,200, or roughly half, of the outages the company reported by midmorning. It had 3,000 customers without power in Cumberland County at 10:40 a.m. and over 2,000 more outages in York County, but power was restored to most of those customers by noon.

Emera Maine, which serves northern and Down East Maine, reported more than 2,900 customers without power at 12:30 p.m., many of them around Deer Isle and Blue Hill. The company had restored power to all of its customers as of 11 p.m.

The National Weather Service had posted a high-wind advisory, and a gust of 47 mph was recorded at 11:57 a.m. at the Portland International Jetport. Wiscasset reported a wind gust of 53 mph and Rockland 49 mph in the afternoon.

Sustained winds of 90 mph were reported on Mount Washington in New Hampshire with a top wind speed of 130 mph recorded, The Associated Press reported. Some chairlifts had to be shut down at Sunday River and Sugarloaf ski areas due to high winds.

Those winds persisted into the evening hours and Schroeter, the weather service meteorologist in Gray, said Friday promises to be windy but not nearly as gusty as Thursday.

A pedestrian runs across Congress Street during Thursday morning’s wind and rain storm. The storm knocked out power to thousands of customers in the morning, but most had been restored by 5 p.m. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

The strong winds delayed the power restoration effort Thursday. Hartnett said 85 CMP workers and 70 contractors were out assessing damage and restoring power, but the high winds made it difficult for crews to make repairs.

“It’s challenging and dangerous to put bucket trucks up in the air when the wind is gusty,” she said.

Localized flooding also created problems in low-lying areas.

In Portland, West Commercial Street was closed Thursday morning between the Casco Bay Bridge and Veterans Memorial Bridge because the road flooded during the peak of the storm.

The National Weather Service is forecasting mostly sunny skies for Friday with high temperatures in the mid-30s for Portland. There is no precipitation the forecast for the weekend.

 

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