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 3)

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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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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.


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




At the Portland Jetport, Candy and Don Gagnon of Gardiner, were on their way to Fort Myers, Florida for a vacation. They arrived two and half hours early, because they feared the jetport would be mobbed with people.

"We thought it might be crazy," Don Gagnon said. "It looks like a ghost town."

With no lines, and few airline staff even, there was little urgency. "Now we're going to go read," he said.

Paul Bradbury, director of the Portland International Jetport, said Monday the final flights, to Atlanta and Chicago, took off early Monday and no other flights would take place for the rest of the day. Most flights from 5:30 to 7 a.m. Tuesday had already been canceled.

"The aircraft will not be where they need to be, as the mid-Atlantic area is expected to have disruptions," Bradbury said.

He said a large percentage of air traffic in and out of Portland connects with airports in New York City and Washington, D.C., two of the areas hit hardest by Sandy.

Power lines and trees fell on roads throughout southern Maine, causing traffic delays, but no storm-related injuries were reported.

The state Department of Marine Resources closed clam flats along the coast as of midnight Monday, citing stormwater runoff from heavy rains that could pollute flats. State officials will evaluate the situation Tuesday before deciding whether to reopen clam flats.


Coastal areas were hit particularly hard.

The town of Wells advised residents to evacuate homes and businesses in coastal and low-lying areas east of Route 1.

Town Manager Jon Carter said the evacuation was "extremely voluntary." Most people, he said, were choosing to stay.

"We're just trying to make people cognizant of the storm. If they are uncomfortable, they should think about beginning to move to a safer location," Carter said. "Most people are watching TV. When the power goes out, they'll lose their security blanket pretty quickly and things may change."

At Camp Ellis in Saco, the Kopenga family prepared to evacuate to stay with relatives in Biddeford. "I'm not taking any chances," said Denise Kopenga.

Dana and Marie Vigue decided to ride out the storm in the home they bought just two months ago. "Every once in a while, the house shakes," said Marie Vigue.

Waves crashed over stone and sand barriers and workers put down sandbags to prevent flooding in driveways.

Sightseers in Saco and Old Orchard Beach pulled their coats over their heads to shield themselves from stinging sand that the wind hurled at them.

"The noon high tide wasn't too damaging. To be honest, we had more trouble with (onlooker) traffic than nature," said Saco Police Chief Brad Paul. "Our shorefront people are pretty tough and they did a good job of preparing themselves."

The Brunswick, a bar in Old Orchard Beach, is usually closed on Mondays, but opened under pressure from regulars, said owner Tom LeCasse. About a dozen people sat around the bar Monday afternoon, watching the ocean and talking about storms of the past.

"I'm just hoping the awning doesn't come off," said Shannon Trudeau as The Brunswick's awning strained in the wind.

John Glass, Old Orchard Beach's fire chief, said The Pier, near the town's amusement park and downtown, was holding up well despite taking a pounding.


With the weather deteriorating as the day went on, many schools announced early closures.

(Continued on page 5)

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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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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?



View Results