Powerful gusts of wind knocked tree limbs onto power lines Sunday afternoon, causing thousands of Mainers to lose power on what otherwise had been a relatively mild, sunny day.

More than 10,600 Central Maine Power customers reported outages at 4:45 p.m., with Cape Elizabeth being one of the hardest hit communities in southern Maine at that hour. Georgetown, another coastal community, in Sagadahoc County was reporting more than 1,200 outages.

In addition to Cumberland and Sagadahoc counties, there were widespread outages reported in Kennebec, Knox and Somerset counties, according to CMP’s website. But restoration efforts moved quickly and by 5:15, the number of CMP outages had dropped to just over 4,600.

Versant Power, which provides electricity to customers in northern and eastern Maine, reported that more than 1,600 customers – mostly in the area around the town of Franklin in Hancock County – lost power Sunday morning. Versant Power gave no restoration time, but reported in an update at 5 p.m. that the number of outages had been reduced to 706.

The National Weather Service Office in Gray said the gusts were stirred up by a high pressure weather system moving into the state on Sunday and a low pressure system that began leaving Saturday night.

Meteorologist Stacie Hanes said the winds should begin to subside overnight, with wind conditions returning to normal by Monday. Haines said the gusts began wreaking havoc Sunday morning.

Portland International Jetport recorded a peak wind gust of 40 mph, and a peak of 35 mph was recorded from the rooftop of Maine Medical Center in Portland. The highest recorded wind gust on Sunday – 109 mph – occurred on Mount Washington.

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