Thousands of Maine homes and businesses were still without power late Tuesday after strong winds buffeted the state, bringing down trees and power lines.

CMP was reporting just over 14,000 outages at 7 a.m. Wednesday, while Versant Power said 2,100 customers remained without power.

The wind started gusting overnight Monday and persisted throughout the day Tuesday, with a gust of 131 mph recorded on Mount Washington in New Hampshire at 5:07 a.m. A few wind gusts topping 70 mph were reported in the western mountains near Bethel. Portland’s highest wind gust, 49 mph, was recorded at 10:25 a.m. Windham reported a gust of 57 mph at 3 a.m., and Augusta had a 51 mph gust at 6:43 a.m.

Rockland experienced a wind gust of 58 mph at 5:56 a.m.  The wind blew a barge into the Rockland breakwater Tuesday morning, an event that was captured on the Rockland Harbor Lights webcam.

Michael Clair, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, attributed the “wind event” to a low pressure system moving into Maine from the Canadian maritimes that collided with a high pressure system moving in from the west.

When Mainers’ woke up Tuesday morning they were greeted by dangerously cold wind chills as low as 25 below zero. The wind and cold temperatures made for an uncomfortable day to be outside.

Central Maine Power reported more than 40,000 customers without power at 2:40 p.m. with Oxford and York counties being the hardest hit. That trend continued into the late afternoon and early evening, with Oxford reporting 5,796 outages, York County 2,340 outages, and Franklin County 1,715 outages late Tuesday. Versant Maine reported more than 3,270 outages at 3 p.m.

“Versant Power has reconnected more than 10,000 customers after strong wind and wind gusts moved through northern and eastern Maine Monday into Tuesday,” spokeswoman Amanda Cummings said in a statement issued Tuesday evening. “Crews will continue working through the night, but those who have not yet had power restored by 10 p.m. should expect to be without service overnight. We expected to address all remaining outages Wednesday.”

The National Weather Service issued a special weather statement late Tuesday for northern Aroostook, Somerset, Piscataquis and Penobscot counties. The weather service warned that areas of blowing snow would persist overnight with wind gusts reaching 20 to 25 mph and reduced visibility with possible whiteout conditions.

The weather service said the brutal cold and wind gusts should fade Wednesday as temperatures climb back into the 30s. There is no precipitation in the forecast for the rest of the week.


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