Paul LePage declares state of emergency as Maine restores power, cleans up

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Updated 3:13 p.m.: Maine’s governor has issued a state of emergency proclamation as the state grapples with a powerful wind and rain storm that caused widespread power outages.

Nearly a half-million Maine homes and business were without power Monday afternoon, surpassing the peak outage number from an infamous 1998 ice storm.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage says the proclamation will give utilities the flexibility they need to restore power. LePage also closed state offices at 3 p.m. so state workers can go home to take care of their families and property.

The violent storm that lashed the Northeast overnight left more than 1.5 million customers across the region without electricity.

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Customers are being warned it could take a week to restore power.

The Portland International Jetport had recorded a peak wind gust of 69 mph.

— The Associated Press

Updated 11:27 a.m.: More than 368,000 Maine homes are without power Monday morning following a powerful wind and rainstorm – exceeding the peak number of power outages reported during the historic Ice Storm of 1998.

It could take multiple days to fully restore power and restoration work won’t start until crews ground and de-energize downed lines, according to Gail Rice, spokeswoman for Central Maine Power Co. Restoration estimates for specific areas will not be available Monday.

The storm, with high wind gusts and driving rain, has affected rail service and closed roads and schools across southern Maine.

The National Weather Service issued a warning that “extremely dangerous” flooding was possible across the western mountains Monday morning. The worst of the wind was expected to hit Maine for several hours Monday morning. A wind gust of 69 mph was recorded in Portland just after 6 a.m.

The Carrabassett, Sandy and Kennebec rivers were expected to flood Monday as the powerful storm swept through Maine. The Swift River in Roxbury is already flooded, said Margaret Curtis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, and she expects the Carrabassett and Sandy rivers to flood later on Monday. The Kennebec River will most likely flood Tuesday, she said.

More information and updates at PressHerald.com

— Gillian Graham, Portland Press Herald

Updated 10:30 a.m.: “It’s a mess,” Tim Hardy, director of Franklin County Emergency Management agency, said.

Roads are flooded. Some roads closed including Route 27 starting at the intersection of Route 4 in Farmington.

Trees are down and wires are down across roads, he said.

Hardy asks people to stay home, if they can.

More than 1,420 customers of CMP were without power in greater Franklin County at about 9:30 a.m.

Regional School Units 9 in Farmington area, 73 in Jay area, 78 in Rangeley area and MSAD 58 in the Kingfield area are closed.

Roads in Franklin County closed at 10:30 a.m. are:

  • Plaisted Road, Jay;
  • Temple Road, Dennison Road, Temple;
  • Route 27 at Access Road, Carrabassett Valley;
  • Route 27, at Maine Wood Turning, New Vineyard;
  • Route 27, Main Street, Kingfield;
  • Eustis Village Road, Eustis
  • Wheeler Hill, Parlin Road, Bridge Street, Phillips;
  • South Shore Drive, Rangeley Plantation:
  • Pond Road at Weld Road, Chesterville Hill R0ad, Bryant Rd, Wilton;
  • Reeds Mills Road, near Davenport Flats, Reed Road, Salem Township;
  • Temple Road, gravel end, Weld;
  • Mile Square Road, Avon;
  • Vienna Road  from George Thomas Road to Stinchfield Hill (Crowell’s Pond flooded), Chesterville.

— Donna M. Perry, Sun Journal

Updated 8:55 a.m.: CMP reports that more than 300,000 customers are without power Monday morning. Almost 30,000 are reported in Androscoggin County, almost 8,000 reported in Franklin County and more than 12,000 in Oxford County.

— Sun Journal staff

UPDATE: School cancellations:

  • Auburn schools are closed.
  • Central Maine Community College has canceled classes.
  • Lewiston schools are closed.

UPDATED 8:48 a.m.: More than 262,000 Mainers are without power early Monday morning as a powerful storm moves across the state. The storm, with high wind gusts and driving rain, has affected rail service and closed roads and schools across southern Maine.

The National Weather Service has issued a warning that “extremely dangerous” flooding conditions developed across the western mountains Monday morning.

The worst of the wind is expected to hit Maine for several hours Monday morning. So far, the strongest wind gust – 69 mph – was recorded in Portland, the weather service says.

The number of customers without power has risen quickly throughout the morning, exceeding 262,000 by 7:30 a.m., according to Central Maine Power. Most of those outages are in York and Cumberland counties, where more than 133,000 customers have no electricity.

— Portland Press Herald staff

A tree fell Monday morning into Woodman Hill Road in Minot. (Joshua Conklin photo)
A motorist drives under downed pine trees that are resting on power lines in Freeport, Maine, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. A strong wind storm has caused widespread power outages. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Trees bring down power lines and block Maple Hill Road in Auburn on Monday morning. (Justin Pelletier/Sun Journal)
Donald Poisson directs traffic around a downed tree on South Main Street in Auburn Monday morning across from his store, Poisson & Sons on South Main Street. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
Peyton Dyer, 11 of Olive Street in Auburn runs past a tree down on Roy Avenue, just down the street from his house. Several trees were on power lines that cut electricity to the area. He was running to a friends house to get buckets to help bail his basement out after it flooded because their sump pump was not working because of the power outage. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
Landon Harvey, 11, of Auburn, walked down the road from his house to check out the tree that was blocking South Main Street in Auburn Monday morning after the overnight storm wreaked havoc in the twin cities and beyond. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
An uprooted tree rests on a house on the corner of Dawn Avenue and Mary Streets in Lewiston Monday morning. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
A resident of Sleeper Road in Lewiston who wished not to be identified looks at a tree that took down power lines and blocked the road Monday morning, preventing him and other residents of the road to be stranded until crews came to clean up the mess left behind by the overnight storm. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
Mike Caron surveys the damage in the front yard of his home on East Avenue in Lewiston Monday morning. For 15 years he and his family have hosted a haunted house here for hundreds of trick-or-treaters on Halloween. “With the damage to the haunted house out back, we are going to have to cancel this year as it’s just not safe.” said Caron. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
Traffic backs up in all directions as a utility worker works on restoring power at the corner of East Avenue and Lisbon Streets in Lewiston Monday morning after a powerful storm wreaked havoc on the area. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
Traffic backs up in all directions as a utility worker works on restoring power at the corner of East Avenue and Lisbon Streets in Lewiston Monday morning after a powerful storm wreaked havoc on the area. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
A large tree on the front lawn of Community Little Theatre on Academy Street in Auburn came down overnight during a powerful storm that wreaked havoc in the area. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
A car was damaged when a tree fell Monday morning on Perkins Ridge Road in Auburn. (Marc Tremblay photo)
A car was damaged when a tree fell Monday morning on Perkins Ridge Road in Auburn. (Marc Tremblay photo)
A downed tree pulls down a utility line crossing Lakeside Drive in Greenwood on Monday morning. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
A tree blocks the street Monday morning at Louise Avenue and South Main Street in Auburn. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
A tree is down Monday morning at the Great Falls Performing Arts Center in Auburn. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
A tree is down Monday morning at Roy Avenue in Auburn. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Updated 5:54 a.m.: Tens of thousands of Mainers are without power early Monday morning as a powerful storm moves across the state.

The worst of the wind is expected to hit Maine for several hours starting around 5:30 a.m., with gusts expected to top 60 mph. The wind is accompanied by rain that will be heavy at times.

More than 74, 000 customers were without power at 4:45 a.m., according to Central Maine Power. Most of those outages are in York and Cumberland counties, where a combined 43,000 customers have no electricity.

Emergency officials report downed trees and live wires are in roads across the area, setting up for a slow and difficult morning commute as drivers find alternative routes around closed roads.

The National Weather Service predicts thChristopher Williams/Sat by the time the storm ends Monday afternoon cities and towns throughout Maine could end up with between 1½ and 3½ inches of rain.

A high wind warning is in effect until 11 a.m.

This story will be updated.

— Portland Press Herald staff

Steve Sherlock/Sun Journal
A large tree on Dawn Avenue in Lewiston was uprooted by Monday’s powerful winds.

 

Part of High Street in Farmington wa closed Monday morning after a tree takes lines down. (Ann Bryant/Sun Journal)
A motorist turns around after finding downed trees blocking Flying Point Road during a storm in Freeport, Maine, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. A strong wind storm has caused widespread power outages. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
A woman walks by a food stand and a tree that were toppled by a storm in Freeport on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. A strong wind storm has caused widespread power outages. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Christopher Williams/Sun Journal
Vehicles on Route 136/Riverside Drive in Auburn drive around a downed tree Monday.

 

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  • MaineCWP

    140,000

  • Thomas Knight

    So Paul is doing something that helps Mainers. He must be running for something.