MONMOUTH — As Deborah Fox and her family were waiting for the cardboard boat race at the Monmouth Beach Party on Saturday, a line of powerful thunderstorms pushing through central Maine around 5 p.m. sent them all scrambling for shelter on the northeast shore of Cochnewagon Lake.

Since they were wet anyway from swimming, they decided to stay for the festivities at the annual town celebration.

Fox had no idea anything was wrong until her phone rang.

“One of my nieces called and said there’s a big tree on your house, and it doesn’t look good,” Fox said.

When she arrived, she found an ash tree lying across the roof of her two-story home on a wooded lot on Packard Road, where Fox has lived for more than three decades.

A line of strong thunderstorms knocked down trees and knocked out power to about 18,000 customers throughout Maine. In Kennebec County, fire departments were dispatched to reports of trees that had been struck by lightning or had been blown over and were resting on power lines.

“We had trees down into wires,” Sean Goodwin, director of Emergency Management for Kennebec County, said Sunday.

By Sunday afternoon, power had been restored in Kennebec County to all but 98 customers, most of them in Gardiner or Litchfield.

“It’s just a house. No one got hurt,” Fox said Sunday. “At my age, 58, I don’t care about that stuff. As long as everyone’s OK.”

Fox said at first she thought her house had escaped damage, but then her son Christof went up to his bedroom on the second floor and told his mother they had a problem.

“The tree branch went into the Sheetrock and broke through the Sheetrock on the ceiling,” Christof said Sunday, over the whine of the chainsaw and the thunks of branches hitting the ground.

While they didn’t lose power, they couldn’t immediately see the extent of the damage, so Fox and her son spent Saturday night with another son.

As Fox and members of her family watched, her son-in-law Nathan Butler and friends Ken Palleschi and Curtis Fox worked to trim limbs from the ash tree on the roof and clear them away, debating which should come off first to prevent the tree from damaging the house more.

“These menfolk keep talking about winches and machines, guy stuff,” Fox said. “They’re planning.”

Fox said she thinks her chimney is undamaged. When the tree is cleared away, the Sheetrock will be replaced, the hole will be fixed and that section of the metal roof will be replaced.

“I did pray for firewood,” she said. “I could have had that prayer answered in a different way, but it’s all good firewood.”

Jessica Lowell — 207-621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ


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