Thunderstorms that rolled through the state Saturday afternoon knocked out electricity to around 1,700 Central Maine Power Co. customers, primarily in southern York County.

CMP said about 1,120 customers in York County and another 598 in Kennebec County were without power.

Smaller numbers of customers were reported without power in Oxford, Cumberland and Somerset counties.

A CMP spokesman said the company hoped to have power restored to most customers by Saturday night, but crews were still assessing the extent of damage in York County.

In Waterville, cleanup from Friday’s powerful thunderstorm continued Saturday afternoon, as did conversations about the storm.

The torrential downpour and wind gusts created a crazy atmosphere at the Elm Plaza parking lot in Waterville, said Andrea Keith, Kmart service desk associate.

Keith said it didn’t take long before sheets of rain turned the parking lot into a lake.

Water rose quickly to the door handles on some vehicles, she said.

“We had customers waiting in here and on the sidewalk,” Keith said. “One woman was up to her knees putting groceries in her car.”

Keith said her boyfriend kayaked on flooded Drummond Avenue in Waterville after the storm concluded around 5:30 p.m.

She said wind gusts estimated between 60 and 70 mph by the National Weather Service briefly knocked out power in the store.

In front of Bath & Body Works at Elm Plaza, employee Jess Labbe said wind was more problematic than water.

“Shopping carts were flying around,” she said. “I was worried that one of them would hit my car.”

Directly in front of the Hannaford supermarket in the plaza, Labbe said flooding was the issue.

She said when a friend opened a car door, sneakers floated out.

Michele Bouchard, a clerk at Beverly’s Card & Gift, said several vehicles were towed from the Elm Plaza parking lot.

“There were a number of angry people,” she said.

More than 5,000 customers in eight Maine counties were without power at the height of the storm, according to CMP on Friday.

The company reported 32 of its 91,542 customers in Franklin and Kennebec counties remained without power as of early Saturday afternoon.

The Waterville Fire Department responded to 10 calls for service from about 4:22 p.m. to 5:40 p.m. Friday.

In Fairfield, police and rescue personnel responded to six complaints of flooding and downed wires and trees from 4:10 p.m. to 5:46 p.m.

A Waterville dispatcher said Saturday morning that all city roads were open.

Maine Sunday Telegram Staff Writer Ed Murphy contributed to this report.

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Beth Staples can be reached at 861-9252 or at:

[email protected]