October 30, 2012

At least 88,000 without power as Maine officials assess storm damage

Flights from the Portland Jetport were still canceled this morning and the Amtrak Downeaster canceled all trains for the day.

By Staff Writers Dennis Hoey, David Hench, Tom Bell, Gillian Graham and Jessica Hall.

(Continued from page 1)

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Mountain Road in Falmouth was blocked to traffic starting at about 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning when a tree fell onto the road, bringing down a power line in the process. David and Laurie Janes say they heard the crash while in bed in their Falmouth home.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

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Diane Visch of Scarborough heads back home Tuesday morning, after checking out the heavy surf at Higgins Beach kicked up by Hurricane Sandy.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

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STORM AT A GLANCE

Power outages: As of 10:15 a.m., outages in Maine totaled 88,581, including 84,978 Central Maine Power customers and 3,603 Bangor Hydro Electric Co. customers.

Evacuations: There are no mandatory evacuation orders. But the town of Wells encouraged people in coastal and low-lying areas to leave their homes and businesses.

People in shelters: At least one shelter was open in Buxton. A shelter was to open in Bridgton at 8 a.m.

Injuries/deaths: None.

Top wind speed: The top recorded wind speed in Maine during the storm was 76 mph in Bath, according to the National Weather Service in Gray

Other top wind speeds:

Portland International Jetport: 63 mph.
Kennebunk: 62 mph.
Matinicus Rock: 58 mph.
Portland Harbor Weather Buoy: 54 mph.
Rockland: 49 mph.
Lewiston: 46 mph.
Augusta: 44 mph.
Rangeley, 44 mph.

Rainfall: The coastal plain in Maine received 1.5 to 2 inches of rain. As much as 3 inches fell in the mountains.

Today's forecast: For today, wind speeds will be between 10 and 20 mph with gusts of up to 25 mph, the weather service said. There will be heavy showers, off and on, all day, with the heaviest rain falling in the mountains.

RESOURCES

To check flight cancellations at the Jetport: http://www.portlandjetport.org/

Red Cross: (877) 372-7363

FEMA: (800) 621-3362

Maine Emergency Management: (207) 624-4400

Central Maine Power (outages): (800) 696-1000

 

National Weather Service's interactive maps

National Hurricane Center

National Weather Service mobile forecasts

Local hour-by-hour and extended forecasts

 

 

 

The predicted rainfall of 1 to 3 inches in southern Maine never came. Only 0.56 inches had fallen in Portland as of 11 p.m.

"Basically, the rainfall was not the story. It was the wind," said Mike Kistner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

He said the wind was expected to start subsiding by Tuesday morning. The day's forecast calls for light showers and windy conditions.

AT CAMP ELLIS, 'UNBELIEVABLE' WIND

People walking on Old Orchard Beach said they were surprised how little debris washed up on the sand. Near the Pier, Irwin Merrill of Westbrook used a metal detector and shovel to search piles of seaweed.

"It's just a lot of seaweed so far," he said.

Scott and Jennifer Provencher of Old Orchard Beach walked the beach with their children, 5-year-old Riley and Vivienne, 2. Riley hopped on top of a log to pose for photos as waves crashed under the Pier behind him.

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

At Higgins Beach in Scarborough, sightseers and dog-walkers enjoyed the high surf just after sunrise. The storm tossed seaweed and driftwood up on Bayview Avenue and a seawall was partly eroded at one end of Higgins Beach, but there was little damage otherwise.

The storm's biggest impact was on electrical service. As of 10:15 a.m., power outages in Maine totaled 88,581, including 84,978 Central Maine Power customers and 3,603 Bangor Hydro Electric Co. customers. There were extensive outages in York County and areas of Cumberland County, particularly Gorham and Windham.

PORTLAND AREA ESCAPES SERIOUS DAMAGE

The city of Portland fared the storm without major problems, Nicole Clegg, the city's spokeswoman, said on Tuesday.

She said there was flooding in the Bayside neighborhood along Marginal Way at high tide around midnight, but it was not severe. The storm also knocked down a couple of utility poles on Washington Avenue Ext. and Riverside Drive, she said.

State police and Cumberland County emergency dispatchers reported no storm-related injuries overnight.

"We actually lucked out I think," said Erin Pelletier, a dispatcher with the Cumberland County Regional Communications Center. "None of the main roads are closed. It's just the side streets that didn't take priority."

Crews worked through the night to reopen major commuter routes like River Road in Windham, which had been closed for downed trees and wires, she said.

"The storm has been pretty much what we expected," said McAleer, who was at the Emergency Operations Center in Augusta on Monday night with staffers from other state and federal agencies. "There have been no surprises yet, but I won't relax until noon (Tuesday)."

AT CAMP ELLIS, 'UNBELIEVABLE' WIND

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

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 in this seaside neighborhood in Saco, but he said the wind was "unbelievable."

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

There was some sand and seaweed left behind on Lower Beach Road by water that splashed over the sea wall, but 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.

(Continued on page 3)

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Additional Photos

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Gerard LeBlanc and Steve Graffam check out the damage from a fallen tree that knocked down a power pole and lines on Methodist Road in Westbrook. The power was off before the tree fell, according to LeBlanc, owner of the tree which continues to block the road.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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A downed tree and power line on Methodist Road in Westbrook.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

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Stephen Graffam, who lives on Methodist Road in Westbrook, checks out a tree that fell about 3 a.m. and blocked the road. He said two young men who wanted to get to work pulled out two chainsaws and cut it up about 5 a.m.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

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Waves crash into the coastline near Short Sand Beach in York on Monday.

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

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Michael Wirtz, of Wilmington, Del., braves flood waters and high winds that arrive with Hurricane Sandy along North Michigan Avenue in Atlantic City, N.J., on Monday. Hurricane Sandy continued on its path Monday, forcing the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing for higher ground, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain.

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A wave comes over a sea wall in Saco near houses on Eagle Avenue during high tide on Monday. The surge from Hurricane Sandy caused some beach erosion in Saco and there was minor flooding in Camp Ellis.

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer

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Caleb Lavoie, 17, of Dayton, Maine, front, and Curtis Huard, 16, of Arundel, Maine, leap out of the way as a large wave crashes over a seawall on the Atlantic Ocean during the early stages of Hurricane Sandy on Monday.

The Associated Press

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Waves crash over a sea wall along Long Beach Avenue in York on Monday as a result of weather conditions from Hurricane Sandy.

Derek Davis / Staff Photographer

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Thomas Beecher, 13, of York is held up by the wind at Short Sands Beach, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, as the area began to see effects of Hurricane Sandy.

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

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Hilda Anderson of Springvale had enough of Hurricane Sandy and headed back to her car after watching the storm crash onto East End Beach on Monday.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

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Laura Gough of Cape Elizabeth shields herself with an umbrella as she walks to work on Commercial Street Monday morning, October 29, 2012.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

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At the end of Fairhaven Avenue in Saco on Monday, October 29, 2012, a payloader builds up a dirt berm to protect the street from erosion expected to happen because of the storm surge hitting the coast from hurricane Sandy.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer:

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AP

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Canadian utility crews called in to help with storm recovery if needed included electrical lineman Dave Leavitt, left, shown arriving Sunday at the Hampton Inn in Augusta.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

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Hallowell firefighters Rick Seymour, left, and Roy Girard fuel up a generator Sunday at the town fire station. The volunteer company was testing emergency equipment and preparing the station for the arrival of storm Sandy, which may disrupt power and cause flooding.

Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

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Michael and Kristin Guibord from Portland grab a fence and their two boys Orion 8 and Jonah 6 as they brace against the wind to view Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth on Mon. Oct. 29, 2012.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

  


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Today's poll: Storm response

Do you believe your community responded appropriately to the storm?

Yes

No

View Results