A suspected tornado sliced its way through a section of St. Albans on Tuesday evening, mowing down trees and knocking out power lines. Reports of funnel clouds and tornadoes also were reported in Cornville, Mercer and Industry.
“The biggest one to hit was in St. Albans – we have a number of roads closed,” said Mike Smith, emergency management director for Somerset County.
“We had a report on the Hanson Road that the tornado had gone through there – there were power lines down, trees everywhere,” he said. “The fire department has gone in there having to cut their way in to confirm that everyone was OK. There is a huge mess out there.”
The storm also knocked down utility poles on Corinna Road in St. Albans.
Smith said the burst has not been confirmed by the National Weather Service as a tornado. Inspectors from the weather service will visit the area Wednesday morning.
“A burst of some kind, be it a tornado or whatever came through there, that much we know,” Smith said. “We have several reports of wires down and several road closures.
There were about 450 Central Maine Power Co. customers without power at about 7:30 p.m., half of them were in Madison, Smith said. The area from Blackwell Hill Road and Thurston Hill to Lakewood Wood and Kincaid Road in Madison was without power. Trees were reported down and on wires in that area.
There were no reports of injuries.
A meteorologist at the Weather Service said thousands of lighting strikes hit and at least one tornado showed on radar in Somerset and Franklin counties as a powerful storm tore through the area, packing high wind and rain.
“From my data here there have been multiple times when I’ve had a hundred lighting strikes every five minutes within the state, so certainly there could have been thousands,” said meteorologist Margaret Curtis at the NWS forecast office in Gray.
Curtis said radar showed between two and three inches of rain fell per hour during the quick storm, which lasted about an hour. In all, three to four inches of rain fell, she said.
“Three inches of rain in a day would not cause as much of a problem as three inches of rain in two hours,” she said.
A tornado was spotted on radar near Mercer, in Somerset County east of Farmington, at 6:17 p.m., according to the Weather Service. Another was reported near the Franklin County town of Industry. A tornado was spotted near Industry moving northeast by the National Weather Service shortly before 5:30 p.m. and moving northeast toward Anson and Madison.
At 5:19 p.m., National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a tornado near Industry and Farmington.
An unconfirmed report of a funnel cloud on Route 150 in Cornville, in Somerset County, was taken at about 6:30 p.m., according to There were no immediate reports of damage.
Smith said Anson was hard hit by rain and wind and all available firefighters have been called in to work. Crews worked to clear trees from Crosstown Road in Anson and some of the smaller connector roads.
A section near the Madison Town Office and police department was flooded, Smith said, the water keeping a police cruiser from leaving the station. A portion of Main Street in downtown Madison also was flooded.
Trees were reported down on Golf Course Road in Madison in St. Albans and Hartland.
Roads also were flooded in Franklin County, but official word on the extent of damage was unavailable Tuesday night.
Weather Service radar showed what appeared to be a tornado near Norridgewock and Skowhegan moving northeast at 30 mph at 6:30 p.m.
In addition to the tornado warning, a flash flood warning was in effect until 8:30 p.m. for southeastern Franklin and east central Oxford Counties.
Some locations in the warning include but are not limited to Anson, Madison and North Anson.
The storm was also capable of producing baseball-size hail and destructive straight line wind, the weather service reported.