Another powerful October storm, the second to blow into Maine within a week, dumped more than 6 inches of rain on parts of York County and the midcoast over the weekend, knocking out power to thousands of utility customers and causing significant flooding on many roads.

Wind gusts along the midcoast were brutal, reaching 57 mph in one Lincoln County community.

More than 3,000 Versant Power and Central Maine Power customers were still without power at 6 p.m. Sunday. Versant, which serves northern and eastern Maine, reported the most outages, with the highest number concentrated in Hancock County.

“High winds overnight and into this morning have brought down trees and tree limbs, damaging lines and causing scattered outages throughout northern and eastern Maine,” Versant said in a statement Sunday night. It reported 2,723 outages at 6 p.m. Sunday and 2,160 at 7 p.m.

The number of outages in CMP’s territory steadily declined throughout the day on Sunday, with just 384 customer outages reported at 6 p.m. and 121 at 7 p.m.

A section of Route 52 in Camden was washed out during the weekend storm. Maine Department of Transportation

Heavy rain “caused significant flooding” on many roads, primarily in the midcoast, the Maine Department of Transportation said. It posted a photograph on its Twitter account that showed a section of Route 52 in Camden that washed out during the storm. Paved sections of the roadway had crumbled, making it impassable.

“Our crews are working to repair several washouts,” Maine DOT said in a tweet. “If you see water on a road, do not assume it is safe to cross.”

A stone embankment on the Saco River near the Pepperell Mill campus in Biddeford washed away into the river during the rainstorm. The city’s code enforcement officer is aware of the damage, according to a police department dispatcher. The embankment supports the city’s RiverWalk, which winds past the Pepperell Mill campus, and is located within a few feet of the brick chimney smokestack. The smokestack, which is no longer in use, is part of the Pepperell Mill complex.

A stone embankment on the Saco River near the Pepperell Mill campus in Biddeford washed away into the river during the rainstorm. Cody Saulnier photo

Heavy rainfall combined with strong wind gusts proved to be the most damaging feature of the Halloween weekend storm, which intensified around 10 p.m. Saturday and continued through the pre-dawn hours, said Derek Schroeter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray. In some areas rainfall amounts exceeded 6 inches and came close to 7 inches.

Most of the heavy rain was concentrated in coastal areas of York, Waldo and Knox counties. Kennebunk reported 6.88 inches of rain; Biddeford, 6.7 inches; Wells, 6.68 inches; Northport, 6.76 inches; Rockport, 5.60 inches; Belfast, 4.98 inches; and Rockland, 4.77 inches, according to rainfall amounts collected by the National Weather Service.

The highest wind gusts occurred in the midcoast, with New Harbor, a village in the Lincoln County town of Bristol, reporting a gust of 57 mph; Belfast, 51 mph; Rockland, 46 mph; and Camden, 42 mph, Schroeter said.

Sunday’s storm was the second to have clobbered Maine in the past six days. A nor’easter that roared into the state late Tuesday packed wind gusts of over 50 mph in some places and caused a total of 66,800 outages while it lasted, according to CMP. At its peak, there were 27,900 outages, most concentrated in coastal communities in York and Cumberland counties.

The nor’easter left a trail of damage in its wake. Two sailboats washed ashore on Willard Beach in South Portland, a tractor-trailer crashed on the Maine Turnpike near Exit 32 in Biddeford, causing traffic to back up for miles, and a stranded hiker in Falmouth was rescued during the storm.

A wind advisory and flood watch were issued on Saturday by the National Weather Service, but both were lifted Sunday after the weather began to clear up.

Schroeter said the start of the new week is looking up. Sunny skies and mild temperatures are forecast for the rest of the week in the Portland area.


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