Paul Rudenberg of Falmouth drags his dingy onto the docks at Falmouth Town Landing on Tuesday afternoon while preparing for the storm. “I lost one a couple years ago in a bigger storm,” he said. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Tropical Storm Isaias knocked out power to more than 91,000 customers Tuesday after blowing into Maine in the late afternoon with wind gusts of more than 40 mph.

Dozens of downed trees were reported, especially in York County, said Derek Schroeter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray.

The storm moved into Maine around 6:30 p.m., and by 11:40 p.m. a total of 91,302 Central Maine Power Co. customers had lost power. That number was down to 70,485 by 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Cumberland County was the hardest hit with more than 27,000 outages Tuesday night. CMP reported about 20,000 customers remained without power Wednesday morning. Most of Freeport is without power. Large outages are also reported in New Gloucester and Naples.

York County had 23,120 outages Wednesday morning. All customers are without power in Limerick and Newfield, while Limington, Lebanon, Waterboro and Acton also reported widespread outages.

Androsscoggin County reported more than 7,400 customers were without power at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Versant Maine, which serves much of the eastern and northern part of the state, reported 1,953 outages late Tuesday night. By 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, only 129 outages remained.

CMP had 100 crews working throughout the night to assess damage and restore power, but they were slowed by severe winds that prevented the use of bucket trucks, said Catharine Hartnett, a company spokesperson. They were assisted by 90 contracted lineworkers, including 20 from New Brunswick, and 100 tree crews.

“Our crews are out, ensuring roads and communities are safe and assessing damage. We expect the wind to die down early in the morning, enabling us to focus on restoration and to work more quickly,” David Flanagan, CMP executive board chair, said in a statement late Tuesday night. “We are fortunate to have the assistance of the contractors from New Brunswick as all utilities and contractors south of Maine are engaged in this storm.”

CMP will begin posting estimated restoration times on its website as soon as they are available, Hartnett said. Crews may be moved down from other parts of the state to help with repairs in Cumberland and York counties, which saw the most damage from severe winds, she said.

Hartnett said much of the damage was caused by large trees that fell across roads, taking down power lines. Those trees are typically outside of the company’s trimming zone, she said.

Forecasters grew concerned Tuesday afternoon after radar showed that some of the more intense rain bands were beginning to rotate, an indication that the storm might produce isolated tornadoes in western Maine and southern New Hampshire, but none were reported as of late Tuesday, Schroeter said.

A surfer catches a wave at Higgins Beach in Scarborough on Tuesday before the storm. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

The weather service is investigating reports of a funnel cloud in western New Hampshire.

The peak wind gust recorded in Portland Tuesday night was 44 mph. A new peak wind gust for August was recorded on Mount Washington of 147 mph, Schroeter said.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency said it was closely monitoring the track of Isaias. The state prepared for possibly damaging winds, rain and power outages, with the biggest impacts expected in coastal areas and western Maine between 8 p.m. and midnight.

The agency had asked boat owners to secure their vessels before the storm hit.

“We are working together with all our partners to plan for this event,” agency Director Peter Rogers said.

A fisherman paddles to Falmouth Town Landing after mooring his boat with the storm approaching on Tuesday afternoon. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Falmouth Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Howard Rice said there was concern that isolated tornadoes could touch down in Cumberland County. Rice said the tornadoes would likely be weak, but urged residents to remain vigilant.

“Residents should secure anything outside that could blow away or be damaged by high winds. This include tents and outside awnings that many of our businesses may have put up to aid outside dining,” Rice said in a statement. “As with any storm, we encourage the public to watch weather updates as they occur and make plans accordingly.”

Isaias made landfall Monday night on the North Carolina coast, strengthening just enough to become a category one hurricane. It was tracking through western New England on Tuesday night.

Crews from Winslow’s fire department remove a fallen tree from Nowell Road in Winslow on Tuesday night. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

The heaviest rain was expected in Vermont and New York, while most of Maine was expected to pick up just under an inch. Down East Maine was not expected to receive more than showers, according to News Center Maine (WCSH/WLBZ-TV).

The weather is expected to be much more calm in Maine on Wednesday, with high temperatures in the 80s.

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