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September 12, 2013

NWS investigating two possible tornadoes in N. Maine

The National Weather Service says there were more than 1,000 lightning strikes per hour at the height of last night's storm.

From staff and news service reports

OXBOW PLANTATION — The National Weather Service is investigating whether powerful thunderstorms spawned not one, but two tornadoes. Utility crews, meanwhile, continue to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses.

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Meteorologist Joe Hewitt in Caribou says a team is seeking to confirm reports Wednesday night of a possible twister around Oxbow. He also says weather radar suggested a second possible tornado near the Monticello-Littleton area.

The National Weather Service says there were more than 1,000 lightning strikes per hour at the height of the storm. Trees and power lines were knocked down across the region, and an electric substation was damaged.

More than 20,000 homes and businesses were in the dark at the storm's peak. Central Maine Power and Bangor Hydro Electric Co. had more than 6,000 customers without electricity Thursday morning.

The majority of those without power were in Knox County, where 4,406 customers were without electricity early Thursday morning, according to Central Maine Power.

The National Weather Service in Gray said Thursday will be another hot muggy day, creating conditions for showers and thunderstorms. A cold front approaching from the northwest could lead to potentially severe thunderstorms, damaging winds and large hail in the afternoon and evening, the weather service said.

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