Monday, March 10, 2014
By BETTY ADAMS Kennebec Journal
AUGUSTA - About 3,000 Central Maine Power Co. customers were without power as night fell Saturday, due to strong thunderstorms Friday night and Saturday.
Somerset County appeared to have taken the brunt of the damage done by storms with high winds Friday night, and hundreds of people in Madison, Hartland, Cornville and St. Albans remained without electricity late Saturday afternoon.
A CMP dispatcher said about 1,900 of those still without power Saturday night had lost electricity during the Friday storms and the rest lost power during storms Saturday afternoon.
At one point, utilities said, more than 17,000 customers lost power in Friday night's storms and one person in Woodsville was reportedly hit by lightning and another in Greenville injured by a falling tree limb.
By nightfall Saturday, CMP said the Somerset County towns with the largest number of outages were Madison, Canaan and Hartland.
Hancock, Waldo and Somerset counties remained the hardest hit Saturday night, but crews were making progress: CMP reported more than 9,000 customers without power early Saturday evening, but the number dropped to 3,082 by 9 p.m.
A strong thunderstorm rolled through central Maine late Saturday afternoon, but concerns for more widespread and damaging storms fizzled as the night went on. The National Weather Service initially posted severe thunderstorm watches for eight counties until 9 p.m., but by 6:30 p.m. it dropped all watches and warnings in the state.
Firefighters in many rural communities were called out to help clear fallen trees and limbs from roads and power lines.
CMP spent most of the day restoring power to thousands of its customers in central and western Maine.
"The service areas hit hardest were Skowhegan, Farmington, Fairfield and Dover-Foxcroft," spokesman John Carroll said. "It was the western and mountainous areas that got hit so hard."
Extra work crews and contract crews reported in at 5 a.m. Saturday to begin work, he said
Carroll said about 3,100 outages in Lewiston resulted from a substation problem, which was resolved early Saturday.
The Associated Press and Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy of the Maine Sunday Telegram contributed to this report.
Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at: