Fire and rescue crews were responding to dozens of incidents in Androscoggin, Oxford and Cumberland counties Monday afternoon, including at least one report of two teens being struck by lightning at a ball field in Harrison.

Initial reports said a teen who was playing on the Field of Dreams off Route 117 in Harrison, was not seriously injured or at least was up and walking around after the strike.

Chief Dennis Yates of the Norway Fire Department said
there were calls for downed trees on the Route 118, also known as Lake Road,
Route 117, also known as Harrison Road, Shepard’s Lane, Ashton Road, Morrill
Road, Country Club Road and Pleasant Street. A falling tree did damage
to the kitchen of an Ashton Road residence, as well as the roofs of two
residences on Shepard’s Lane and the Harrison Road. Another residence
on the Harrison Road had a number of trees along an outlet of Lake
Pennesseewassee blown against the house, but did not cause significant
damage.

The department also had to grapple with trees felled
on the roads and on wires. Yates said four to five poles were broken
when trees fell on power lines, and commended Central Maine Power for
having crews respond quickly to the scene. He said it may be another
day or two before power is fully restored.

“I don’t know what happened here in Norway, but it was some pretty bad damage to the trees,” he said.

Yates said there were whitecaps on Lake
Pennesseewassee, and that the wind picked up a frog and crushed it
against a picture window on Shepard’s Lane. He said the storm may have
been a microburst or a tornado, which could have touched down near
Ashton Road and proceeded as far as Pleasant Street.

“If you got away from that line, there was very little damage that I knew about,” he said.

George Wiseman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said that the agency heard about the storm damage, but would wait until Tuesday before deciding whether or not to review the damage as a possible tornado. He said advanced technology and better communication have made it easier to determine unusual weather systems like tornadoes.

In Norway, damage was evident along Route 118 as it ran past Lake Pennesseewassee. Bark and limbs littered the road, and people in boats retrieved inner tubes and other debris blown into the lake.


Marion Denbow had returned to her home on the Harrison Road near the lake shortly before the storm hit. In the rear of the house, a swath of land alongside an outlet of the lake had been torn up, toppling several trees onto the house. The damage to the house did not appear to be serious.


“I sat on the couch for a minute, and all of a sudden there was the largest boom I’ve ever heard in my life,” said Denbow.


Denbow said she wasn’t sure what had happened and ran out of the house, slipping and hitting her head. She was released after being examined by paramedics.


“I’ve never experienced anything like it,” said Denbow of the storm. “I thought I was a goner.”


Chief Brad Frost of the Paris Fire Department said he received calls for downed limbs and a false fire alarm, but nothing serious during the storm. He said a barn fire was reported in Norway, but that Paris was called off before providing mutual aid.

Main Street in Norway was also flooded under several inches of water from a sudden downpour. Emergency crews in Lewiston and Auburn were also responding to reports of lightning strikes and transformers on fire.

According to authorities, the south Auburn area on both sides of
Interstate 95 took the brunt of the damage from the wild weather.

A dispatcher with the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office said that
Poland lost power for a period of time, which forced fire and rescue
crews to switch to backup systems. Additionally, crews responded to
two homes being hit by lightning — one in Turner and the one in Greene.

Auburn Police Lt. Tim Cougle said dispatchers took several calls of
downed trees and limbs in the area around the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal
Airport, including several trees down on Black Cat Road. In addition,
officers responded to several alarms being set off by power surges
throughout the area.

Cougle said that crews from Auburn Public Works helped clear trees and
limbs on Beech Hill Road, Flight Line Drive, Danville Corner Road and
Old Danville Road.

John Carroll, a public information specialist with Central Maine Power,
said that 1,469 customers were without power due to the storm. As of
Monday night, about 174 customers remained without power. 


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