A band of powerful wind gusts generated by a cold front moved into the state Friday, triggering another round of power outages just two weeks after a nor’easter knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses.

On Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service in Gray issued an overnight wind advisory for midcoast Maine – Lincoln and Knox counties – but even stronger winds were expected to blast Portland and most of the state starting around 6 a.m. Friday.

“Wind gusts of 50 mph have the ability to down large tree limbs,” the weather service said. “This will likely result in power outages.”

More than 17,000 outages were already reported in both utility companies’ service areas early Friday morning. At 12:25 a.m., CMP was reporting 5,787 customers without power, with nearly 2,000 of them in Kennebec County. Emera Maine was reporting 11,798 outages at 12:30 a.m., with most of those concentrated in Penobscot and Hancock counties.

Derek Schroeter, a meteorologist with the weather service, said gusts in Portland as strong as 50 mph will continue before they began to subside late Friday afternoon.

In the mountains, the gusts will be even stronger – Schroeter predicted gusts on Mount Washington will exceed 100 mph.

Earlier this month, a nor’easter  knocked out power to about 180,000 of Central Maine Power Co.’s 646,000 customers. It took several days before power could be restored to all of them.

CMP and Emera Maine, which serves customers in northern and Down East Maine, issued statements Thursday assuring customers that repair crews were standing by and would be ready to fix any outages that occur on Thursday or Friday.

Temperatures will drop into the 50s by Friday night with a mild, sunny weekend in the forecast for Greater Portland.

 

 

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