An equipment malfunction at a Central Maine Power substation in South Portland caused a widespread power outage on one of the hottest days of the year Sunday morning.

The outage, which affected an estimated 8,000 CMP customers in sections of Portland and South Portland as well as Peaks Island and Little Diamond, is believed to have been caused when an animal got into the equipment at the utility’s Highland Avenue substation, according to spokeswoman Catharine Hartnett.

Hartnett said the outage began at 4 a.m. Sunday, with power restored to all of the affected customers by 11 a.m. Temperatures soared Sunday into the 80s before reaching 92 degrees in Portland around 5 p.m., according to the National Weather Service in Gray.

Michael Clair, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Sunday’s oppressive heat was not the first time it has been that hot this year. A high of 94 degrees was recorded in Portland on July 20. The record high for the day was 95 degrees set in 1989.

More hot weather is on the way for Monday and Tuesday, with the possibility that Portland might be in the grips of a heat wave. Clair said that a heat wave is defined by three consecutive days of temperatures hitting 90 degrees or higher.


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