Strong winds Thursday brought a tree down onto a transmission line in Winthrop, knocking out power to thousands of residents in western Kennebec County. Central Maine Power Co. photo

WINTHROP — Gusting winds knocked out power Thursday morning to several thousand customers in Monmouth, Wayne and Winthrop, where schools were closed for the day because of the outage.

Mike Cempa, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Gray, said strong wind gusts arrived in central Maine overnight, including a gust in Augusta that reached 58 mph at 5:36 a.m.

About an hour later, officials said, a tree in Winthrop fell onto a transmission line.

Jonathan Breed, spokesman for Central Maine Power Co., said workers were able to restore power to 3,100 customers shortly after the outage began. By midafternoon, about 500 customers in Kennebec County were still without power.

In Winthrop, where most of the town was affected by the power outage, officials initially announced a two-hour delay Thursday to the start of school, then opted to cancel school for the day.

In Monmouth, the outage limited the services the Monmouth Town Office was able to provide Thursday morning.


Across the area, there were reports of wind damage. In Gardiner, there were reports of fallen trees taking down power lines and blocking roadways.

Cempa said wind speeds were expected to drop throughout Thursday.

Temperatures were expected to drop Thursday night to as low as 5 degrees, he said, with breezes expected to push the wind chill factor to about zero.

Temperatures are expected to increase over the weekend.

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