A fast-moving thunderstorm swept across Androscoggin and Oxford counties Saturday afternoon, knocking out power to more than 1,600 people.

The National Weather Service in Gray placed large swaths of central, western and southern Maine as “a slight risk for storms to become severe with strong winds and torrential downpours being the primary hazard.”

According to an Androscoggin County dispatcher, many people from the town of Greene reported trees had fallen in the road or on telephone lines during the storm.

The dispatcher added that Sabattus also reported a few trees fell on telephone wires.

Leeds was one of the towns hardest hit by the storms, based on how many reports of downed trees the National Weather Service station in Gray received, meteorologist Mike Cempa said.

“There was a very strong storm there,” Cempa said. The storm may have produced a microburst — an intense, damaging downdraft — in the area, he added.

Around 4:30 p.m., the Auburn Fire Department was dispatched to 276 Hotel Road for a report of a structure fire. Upon arriving, firefighters said that lightning had struck near the house, causing the dryer vent to briefly catch on fire.

The Paris Fire Department responded to Hathaway Road around the same time for a tree that fell on telephone wires.

As of 7:20 p.m., 1,106 customers were without power in Androscoggin County and 536 in Oxford County. The effect of the storm was minimal in Franklin County, where six power outages were reported.

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Portland Press Herald staff writer Peter McGuire contributed to this report.


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