Young fans watch the Portland vs Cheverus soccer game, some under the cover of an umbrella, as the rain begins to fall Thursday evening. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

A storm approaching Maine is expected to bring heavy rains and wind gusts of up to 45 mph along the coast and areas of higher elevation late Thursday and into Friday morning.

Faced with the distinct possibility of scattered power outages, Central Maine Power Company announced Thursday that it has mustered its power restoration crews and its workers are prepared to kick into action if necessary.

The utility company, which provides electricity to about 636,000 customers in central and southern Maine, said it will have 175 of its line workers at its disposal if the wind and rainstorm cause power outages. CMP also said it has retained 180 private contractors to work during the storm. Those contractors and 105 tree crews will be deployed across the company’s service territory.

“We have been communicating with local emergency management officials to understand their priorities for road clearing in the event downed lines prohibit emergency vehicles, as that is always our priority in responding,” Kerri Therriault, CMP’s senior director of electric operations, said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor where the wind is strongest and position our crews as needed.”

CMP said that wind gusts, which are predicted to reach 40-45 mph along the coast and at higher elevations, do have the potential to bring down tree limbs and uproot trees. That type of destruction can cause damage to electrical wires and utility poles. If there are outages, CMP will make restoring power to hospitals and other critical care facilities its top priority.

CMP also issued a reminder to customers who lose power to stay away from downed lines, to turn off or unplug major appliances and to report outages on its 24/7 automated phone system: 800-696-1000.


A flood watch issued by the National Weather Service in Gray goes into effect at 8 p.m. Thursday and will remain in effect through Saturday morning. Forecasters are concerned because rainfall amounts exceeding 3 inches are possible, especially in the mountains and foothills. Up to 6 inches of rain could fall in the White Mountains and Maine’s western mountains, the weather service said. That much rain could result in the flooding of rivers, creeks, streams and other low-lying areas that are flood prone. Adding to the flooding concerns are poor drainage in urban areas such as Portland, where storm drains could become clogged with debris and fallen leaves.

In addition to the flood watch, the weather service issued a wind advisory that will take effect at 3 a.m. Friday and remain in effect through 3 p.m. Friday. The weather service is reminding Mainers to lock down unsecured objects. Winds this strong also might make driving a vehicle difficult, especially high-profile vehicles.

Jon Palmer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said that Friday will be an all-day rain event, but if power outages do occur, the temperatures should not be a cause for concern. Portland’s high temperature on Friday will be around 64 degrees with overnight temperatures dropping into the low 50s.

Saturday and Sunday are shaping up to be great days to be outside. Palmer said the rain in Portland should end around 8 a.m. Saturday with skies clearing and sunny skies emerging later in the day.

“It’s going to clear out and be nice on Saturday,” Palmer said.

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