Hail is piled up in the lot at Marc Motors in Sanford on Tuesday morning. The storm damaged the dealership’s entire inventory. Photo by News Center Maine

Thunderstorms that produced hail stones large enough to dent cars at a Sanford auto dealership and dumped several inches of rain in some parts of Maine left hundreds of Central Maine Power Company customers without power before finally moving out of the state Tuesday night.

Hail pelted the region between Sanford and Arundel Tuesday morning, damaging vehicles on the Marc Motors Nissan lot in Sanford, News Center Maine (WCSH/WLBZ) reported. There was so much hail on the ground that the city of Sanford broke out plow trucks to clean up the mess, the TV station reported. In some parts of Sanford, people shoveled hail.

Marc Motors told News Center Maine that nearly every motor vehicle on its lot sustained some type of damage from the mid-July hail storm. Powerful winds knocked trees onto homes in the Sanford area. A total of 447 Central Maine Power Company customers were still without power at 7 p.m. Those numbers dwindled as the evening wore on, dropping to 85 customers in the dark as of 9:30 p.m.

One woman whose home was damaged by the storm told News Center Maine that the winds, rain and hail produced by the storm made her wonder if the world was coming to an end.

“From what we could see, there was enough hail that fell to cover the roads,” National Weather Service meteorologist Michael Clair said. “It was impressive and rare for this time of year.”

The slow-moving storms struck the Sanford region around 8:30 a.m. before heading toward Arundel. The area between those two York county towns saw the most hail, with Sanford being the hardest hit community, Clair said. The storms, which produced lightning and booming claps of thunder, continued to head up the coast dropping nearly 1 inch of rain on Portland before heading north to Yarmouth.

Yarmouth reported getting between 2 and 4 inches of rain, Clair said. When the storms reached Waldoboro, they turned inland toward Waterville, dumping up to 5 inches of rain between those communities.

“These were slow moving storms, which stayed in one place for a while. Because they were so localized, they produced a lot of rain,” Clair explained.

Weather conditions on Wednesday and Thursday in Portland should start to calm down with partly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid- to high-60s forecast.

But Clair warned that the long-range forecast is calling for a hot and humid weekend with potentially dangerous heat levels Sunday and Monday.

 


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