Thousands of Central Maine Power Company and Emera Maine customers lost power Thursday night after a rainstorm accompanied by powerful wind gusts knocked tree limbs onto power lines, and threw live wires into roadways.

CMP reported almost 16,000 customers were without power as of 10:45 p.m. The hardest hit counties were Waldo with 3,607 outages, Androscoggin with 2,347, and Penobscot County with more than 2,400. By 6 a.m. Friday, the total number of outages had fallen to about 6,300, with most in the midcoast counties of Waldo (3,300) and Lincoln (1,000).

In northern and eastern Maine, a total of about 15,000 Emera Maine customers lost power at the peak of the storm, which packed winds exceeding 50 mph, according to utility spokesman Bob Potts. Total outages were down to about 11,000 by 6 a.m. Friday, with the majority in Penobscot (6,500) and Hancock (2,547) counties.

Chris Kimble, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, said Friday would have lighter winds and most of Maine would be relatively warmer and drier. Temperatures in Portland could reach 50 degrees.

The National Weather Service reported the following wind speeds: 45 mph at the Portland International Jetport, 38 mph in Cumberland, 54 mph at the Augusta State Airport, 41 mph in Waterville, 50 mph in South Bristol, 38 mph in Bath and 63 mph at Matinicus Rock.

Portland received 0.46 inches of rain on Thursday.


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