PORTLAND — A storm that dumped more than 3 inches of rain on parts of Maine blew in and out of the state Friday, but not before causing thousands of power outages from the high winds, forcing the postponement of numerous football games, and causing boats to break loose from moorings.

Winds gusted to more than 40 mph across the southern coast – hitting 48 mph in Portland – and caused thousands of power outages across the region on Friday.

“The bullseye was York and Cumberland counties, which got 2½ to 3½ inches of rain,” said Eric Sinsabaugh, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Gray.

By later afternoon, however, flood and wind advisories that had been posted earlier were lifted in most places, with the exception of far northern Maine.

Central Maine Power said 8,670 customer accounts were without service late this afternoon, less than half the number reported at the storm’s peak. Farther north and east, Bangor Hydro Electric says 3,121 customers were without power, less than half the number reported earlier in the day.

The Coast Guard answered more than a dozen calls reporting boats taking on water, breaking loose from their moorings and crashing into rocks, said Chief Tim Steele of the South Portland station. No one was aboard any of the boats, so no injuries resulted, Steele said.

12:10 p.m.

The number of Central Maine Power customers without power has grown to 20,261.

As of 11:30 a.m., Cumberland County was the hardest hit with 6,001 outages. Knox County was next with 4,931, followed by LIncoln with 3,331, Somerset with 1,142 and Waldo with 1,211.

“People in the field have told us that winds have been up to 40, even 50 miles per hour in some areas. As long as these strong winds continue, there is a risk for outages,” CMP spokesman John Carroll said in a statement. “We have all available crews working around the clock to fix the damage and restore service to customers.”

A lack of power in Cumberland prompted the cancellation of classes at Greely High School. Students were dismissed at 11:45 a.m.

10:15 a.m.

Heavy rain and fallen tree limbs have prompted the closure of several streets in Portland.

The affected areas are Somerset and Elm streets from Lancaster Street to Pearl Street; Maple Street from Commercial Street to York Street and Mellen Street at Park Avenue.

The city advised motorists to seek alternative routes as the closures are expected to be in effect for the next few hours.

10:05 a.m.

Classes at Biddeford High School were called off today after water entered the building through a construction area.

Water entered the first level of the school and seeped through the ceiling of a locker room and industrial arts area in the sublevel below, said Deputy Chief Paul LaBrecque.

The water through an area where temporary walls were set up between the building and the construction area, he said.

9:40 a.m.

Rain is lightening up considerably in York County and should soon do the same around Portland, according to the National Weather Service.

The nor’easter that is slowly moving up the coast will continue to hang around the area for six or eight hours, said meteorologist Tom Hawley. LIghter rain is expected before the storm heads out toward Nova Scotia, he said.

The heaviest rain reported so far was in Saco, where 3.3 inches have fallen. Portland had 2.7 inches.

Strong winds have accompanied the heavy rain. Gusts of 45 mph were recorded in Rockland. It Portland, the wind reached 35 mph.

Central Maine Power reported that it had 14,170 customers without power.

“It’s getting worse,” said spokeswoman Gail Rice.

Knox County was the heaviest hit with 4,782 outages. Next were Cumberland County with nearly 2,100 and Lincoln County with 2,000.

 

PORTLAND  — Maine’s largest electric utility says it’s ready to deal with any outages caused by the storm bearing down on the coast. As of 8:15 a.m. 33 communities were reporting power outages including Alfred, Cape Elizabeth, Freeport, Hollis and Saco.

Central Maine Power says it has extra crews ready to go.

Spokesman John Carroll tells WGME-TV it’s impossible to predict how much damage the storm will cause, but with strong winds and heavy rains forecast it’s best to be prepared.

The National Weather Service has issued a storm warning for much of coastal Maine and a wind advisory or warning for the rest of the state.