Maine still cleaning up after Thursday’s storms

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A section of Bath Road near Federal Street was closed while workers removed downed trees and restored power and communication lines after a fast-moving line of thunderstorms knocked out power to thousands in Southern Maine. (Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald)

Brunswick schools are closed Friday while crews continue to work to restore power to thousands of customers in the area.

powerful mid-day storm on Thursday knocked out electricity to as many as 29,700 homes and businesses at it peak. Cumberland and Lincoln counties appeared to have suffered the biggest hit.

Just over 9,000 customers remained without power Friday morning, primarily in Cumberland, Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties. More than 2,600 customers in Brunswick and 1,000 customers in South Bristol were without power at 8 a.m., according to CMP.

CMP crews were “out in full force, repairing damage from brief yet intense thunderstorms that came through southern and coastal Maine at midday,” the company said in a statement Thursday night.

The storm was so intense and caused such extensive damage that the National Weather Service office in Gray said it will consider whether to send a team to Brunswick on Friday to determine whether a tornado touched down.

“There were some indications on radar that a super cell moved through Brunswick and Bath around 12:30 (p.m.). Radar picked up some rotation,” meteorologist Derek Schroeter said.

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Schroeter said a wind gust of 69 mph was recorded at 12:46 p.m. at Pemaquid Lighthouse in Bristol. That comes close to being classified as a hurricane-force wind, which is 74 mph or more.

CMP estimated that more than 29,700 customers lost power during the storm. The strong winds caused tree limbs from outside the utility’s right of way to come into contact with power lines, the company said in a statement. There were multiple reports of trees down, blocking roads from Freeport to Bristol.

This story will be updated.

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