High winds uprooted a tree during an overnight storm on Davenport Street in Augusta. Homeowner Shawn Totman said the tree did not hit his or his neighbor’s house. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

A robust rainstorm that lasted from Monday night to Tuesday afternoon left almost 10,000 Central Maine Power customers in the region without power.

Light rain began in central Maine late Monday afternoon, and the brunt of the storm hit between 4 p.m. Monday and 2 a.m. Tuesday, according to Hunter Tubbs, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“The forecast overall did pretty well. There’s always some question marks with exactly how rain would fall,” Tubbs said Tuesday morning. “The winds were also impressive.”

As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, Central Maine Power Co. reported  9,783 power outages across Kennebec County, or slightly more than 13% of CMP’s customers in the county.

Belgrade was hit particularly hard, with 1,682 out of 2,625 customers (64.1%) losing power.

By 2 p.m. Tuesday, 5,951 customers in Kennebec County were without power, 1,318 of them in Belgrade.

Dan MacKenzie, chief of the Belgrade Fire & Rescue Department, said the rain caused little damage and he was not concerned about flooding.

“The forecast was not bad, but the winds were pretty good there for a while,” Sean Goodwin, director of the Kennebec County Emergency Agency, said early Tuesday. “Hence, the people without power. Most of that is because of trees in the power lines.”

Goodwin also said he and other officials had little concern about “heavy-duty flooding.”

“We have a lot of lowlands flooding that doesn’t seem to be causing much flooding issues,” he said.

It was possible the Kennebec River could reach flood stage — about 13 feet — after 10 p.m. Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service, but was expected to recede early Wednesday.

In Augusta, the north end of Front Street was closed at 3 p.m. due to the potential for flooding.

“They’re just using caution on the river,” said Roger Audette, Augusta’s fire chief and emergency management director  “We’ve had instances before where people have parked in the flood zone, so we’re just using a little extra caution.”

At 8 a.m. Tuesday, Somerset County reported 3,146 power outages among its 30,357 CMP customers. In Franklin County, 218 of CMP’s 23,504 customers lost power. Those numbers were down to 141 and 24, respectively, by 2 p.m.

All told, more than 100,000 CMP customers across Maine lost power, according to the utility.

The storm forced a handful of schools to change their schedules. At the Maine Arts Academy in Sidney, an already-scheduled remote learning day was canceled due to power outages.

Belgrade Central School, an elementary school in Regional School Unit 18, also canceled classes due to a lack of power. as did Walker Elementary School in Liberty, part of Regional School Unit 3, and Dresden Elementary School, part of Regional School Unit 2.

There were reports of fallen trees in Farmingdale, and wires in the roadway in Dresden, Richmond and Winslow. The River Road in Norridgewock was closed to traffic.

Farmingdale Assistant Fire Chief Michael LaPlante said a fallen tree was blocking Maple Street, but, overall, “it was relatively quiet” in town.

Steve Lilly, chief of the Dresden Fire and Rescue Department, said several roads had to be closed due to fallen trees with power lines in them, causing outages throughout the town.

George Marston, a lineman with Central Maine Power Co., stacks cones Tuesday after restoring power in West Gardiner. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

He said other roads were closed because of low-hanging power lines.

“Right now, it’s been pretty calm,” Lilly said late Tuesday morning. “Now that the wind has died down some, we’re able to catch our breath for a while.”

At about 9:45 p.m. Monday, the National Weather Service reported wind gusts topping out at 55 mph at the Augusta State Airport.

The rainfall measured between 2 and 2.5 inches in much of Augusta, with 3.1 inches at the airport. In Waterville, about an inch fell.

John Bennett, battalion chief with the Augusta Fire Department, said he listened to the howling winds overnight and worried the damage could be significant.

“We were very fortunate down here and blessed that we did not have, at least in Augusta, we did not have many issues at all,” Bennett said early Tuesday. “I wouldn’t call it anything significant. We had a couple of minor incidents, and I expected a whole lot more.”

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