October 31, 2012

‘We got ... pretty lucky’

The power is still out for some Maine residents, but the state escaped the fatalities and damage many other states suffered.

From staff reports

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The remnants of superstorm Sandy were still kicking up substantial surf Tuesday, including at this jetty on Wells Beach.

Greory Rec/Staff Photographer

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Neighbors observe and take photos of a tree that fell across Methodist Road in Westbrook. On Route 88 in Falmouth, which was closed at Depot Road, crews from Time Warner Cable and CMP repaired equipment after a huge tree fell and took down lines.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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Travelers were urged to contact their airlines for flight-specific information.

The Amtrak Downeaster canceled Tuesday's runs between Boston and Portland because of power outages in New Hampshire, said Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority.

Without power, crossing lights and barriers don't work, so trains must go slowly and conductors must manually flag them through road crossings, she said.

"We didn't want to have people get on and, four hours from now, we'll get you to Boston," Quinn said. "We didn't want people to plan on us and not be able to rely on us."

Quinn said the commuter train that leaves Portland at 5:25 a.m. will not run Wednesday. Instead, commuters should drive to Wells to board buses that will take them to Boston's North Station.

The Downeaster does plan to run a train today, departing at 8 a.m. from Portland, but Quinn said that if power outages are still widespread in New Hampshire, the train will arrive late in Boston.

Riders should check Amtrak's website for updates regarding the rest of Wednesday's train schedule.


Besides some road closures and power outages, there was little damage in the state's southernmost county.

Steve Harding, spokesman for the York County Emergency Management Agency, said, "Overall, we got out of it pretty lucky, all things considered."

Emergency dispatchers in York reported several roads closed because of trees downing wires, with extensive power outages.

Nathaniel Higgins, at the York dispatch center, reported early Tuesday morning that several roads were still blocked but parts of town were getting their power back.

"We were on a generator all night but we just got power back here," Higgins said.

At Camp Ellis in Saco, Mike Otazo stood alone at the end of Lower Beach Road as the sun rose Tuesday morning.

After a windy night in his house near the ocean, he was curious to see what daylight would reveal. "I wanted to wake up and see a hurricane sunrise," he said.

Otazo never lost power, but he said the wind was "unbelievable."

"It sounded like my windows were going to bust out," he said.

Sand and seaweed were left on Lower Beach Road by water that splashed over the sea wall, but there was nothing out of the ordinary after a big storm, Otazo said. A sign lay twisted at the end of the street.

On Main Avenue, Camp Ellis resident Linnea Olsen walked her two dogs, a cup of coffee in hand. She said she could hear the ocean from her home Monday night, which is unusual.

"It was roaring pretty hard," she said. "I think we were very, very fortunate we were spared."

Roads to Camp Ellis that were barricaded during the storm reopened by mid-morning Tuesday. Piles of sand covered the intersection of Main and North avenues, but there was no visible flooding or damage.

On the beach at end of Fairhaven Avenue, a giant protective sandbag ruptured, allowing water to flow up the street. Some of the boulders providing protection from the surf washed away.

People walking on Old Orchard Beach said they were surprised at how little debris washed up on the sand.

Scott and Jennifer Provencher of Old Orchard Beach walked the beach with their children, 5-year-old Riley and 2-year-old Vivienne.

Jennifer Provencher said she was surprised there wasn't more debris, but was grateful that power stayed on throughout the storm.


On Tuesday afternoon, Bill Gribbin, 72, of Littlejohn Island in Yarmouth used a chain saw to cut up branches that he found littering his yard when he returned after spending the night inland.

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Additional Photos

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Crews from McDonough Electric Construction of Bedford, Mass., work to remove a cherry tree that had fallen over Princes Point Road in Yarmouth on Tuesday.

Photo by Todd Hall


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