July 6, 2011

Powerful thunderstorms produce hail and set ski lodge on fire

Dennis Hoey dhoey@mainetoday.com

Thunderstorms that produced hail and strong winds tonight appear to have been the cause of a fire that broke out in the main lodge of the Mt. Abram Ski Resort in Greenwood.

The Bethel Fire Department, which sent fire crews to the blaze, said the fire at the ski resort fire came in after witnesses reported seeing lightning strike the base of the mountain.

The National Weather Service said those storms produced hail in towns such as Rumford and Windham. Several people reported wind gusts of over 50 miles per hour.

"There are reports of a lot of trees down and numerous power outages,” said Margaret Curtis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray.

Curtis says a severe thunderstorm watch will remain in effect for southern and coastal Maine until about 9 p.m. tonight.

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