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 2)

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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

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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

 

 

 

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

Early Tuesday, roads to Camp Ellis were still barricaded to vehicle traffic. Piles of sand covered the intersection of Main and North avenues, but there was no visible flooding or damage. By 10 a.m, the roads had reopened.

On the beach at end of Fairhaven avenue in Saco, a giant protective sand bag ruptured, allowing water to flow up the street and some of the boulders providing protection from the surf washed away.

A few miles inland in Buxton, Timberline Country Store was open and running on a generator in an area of town that has been without power since Monday evening. A steady stream of people stopped in for coffee and breakfast sandwiches on their way to work before dawn.

LEPAGE DECLARES EMERGENCY

Gov. Paul LePage declared a state of emergency on Monday that authorized state agencies to use all available resources and personnel to cope with the emergency.

Even as state officials said they were in contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, LePage declined support from its Incident Management Assistance Team, a group of senior-level professionals who provide expertise in operations, logistics, planning and recovery.

LePage's spokeswoman, Adrienne Bennett, said that support was declined because other states don't have fully operational emergency operation centers and will need the support more than Maine, although she couldn't identify the states.

Jeremy Damren, spokesman for the Maine Emergency Management Agency, said all New England states have emergency operation centers. Maine's center has members of state agencies who offer resources for state, county and local officials as requested in emergencies.

They usually work with county emergency directors, Damren said.

Robert McAleer, director of the Maine Emergency Management Agency. said the state emergency agency was in contact with FEMA and would ask for assistance if the need arises, but he didn't anticipate it.

At a news conference on Monday, LePage emphasized the importance of not touching downed power lines or operating generators inside buildings.

"Basically, it's using a lot of common sense," he said.

TRANSPORTATION SERVICES HALTED

The powerful storm affected everything from public transportation to boat traffic in Portland Harbor to the state's clam digging industry.

The Coast Guard closed the Port of Portland to boat traffic around 5 p.m. Monday. That forced Casco Bay Lines to suspend service, with its last ferry leaving Portland at 5:45 p.m. for the outer islands such as Long Island and Great Diamond.

Service had resumed by Tuesday morning.

The Amtrak Downeaster canceled Monday's afternoon and evening train service from Boston and Portland. It also canceled all of Tuesday's runs from Boston and Portland.

Amtrak trains are canceled 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 have to go slow and conductors have to manually flag them through the 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. "At this point in time we just don't think we can be reliable at all," she said.

"If power comes on during the course of the day, we may run later in the day, but we didn't want people to plan on us not be able to rely on us," Quinn said.

(Continued on page 4)

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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