Thousands of Central Maine Power customers in Kennebec County were still without power Thursday, and some schools remained closed as a result, a day after a powerful fall storm with heavy wind gusts blew through the region.

Much of China was still without power Thursday and schools in China and Winslow canceled classes because of outages. As of 11:30 a.m., power was restored at the schools and classes will continue Friday.

As of 9 a.m. Thursday morning, Central Maine Power reported 1,498 of 2,668 customers in China were without power, more than 56% of customers in that town. CMP estimates had some restorations expected by Thursday night.

China Primary and Middle Schools, which are a part of Regional School Unit 18, were also closed Thursday due to the outages.

China was the only municipality in Kennebec County with more than 1,000 outages and Kennebec County’s 7,078 total outages were the most in the state as of Thursday morning.

More than 114,000 customers lost power Wednesday as wind gusts and rain traversed the state. Damage in central Maine was minimal, save for a few road closures due to downed trees or power lines, officials said.

After an early dismissal Wednesday, Winslow Junior High and High schools did not return to school Thursday due to the outage.

Winslow Superintendent Peter Thiboutot said he canceled school because power was not set to come back on until 10 a.m. While the power came back earlier than that — at 9:20 a.m. — it wasn’t early enough to have school. Power is especially important during the coronavirus pandemic for ventilation and other purposes, he noted.

Eli Nystrom, owner of Nystrom Lawn and Landscaping, tosses cut pieces of a locust tree felled by Wednesday’s windstorm onto a trailer. He was clearing on Wednesday the parking area that he maintains for the Village Inn and Tavern in Belgrade. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

“The elementary school has power, so we are in session there,” Thibotout said. “We lost power at the junior high and high schools yesterday, and so we were in conversations with the power companies late last night and they were hoping to have the power back to us by 6 a.m. But when our maintenance director contacted them this morning, they said they didn’t really know when the power was going to be back.”

With power back Thursday morning, school will be in session Friday for the students in the cohort with in-person learning, he said.

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