Why wait for winter when you can have a perfectly good storm now? 

Gusting winds and driving rain created havoc of various kinds Friday — a scene that may be repeated in just a few days. 

The mid-October storm had a little bit of everything. 

“Main impacts continue to focus on heavy rain causing localized flash flooding, urban street flooding from clogged storm drains, ponding on roadways, reduced visibility with the rain and fog, slick roads from the leaf and pine needle drop, and the risk of flying debris and power outages from the wind,” wrote meteorologist Mike Haggett of Pine Tree Weather. 

He was right about those power outages. Central Maine Power crews were sent scrambling early Friday as tumbling tree limbs brought outages just about everywhere. 

By 4 p.m., there were more than 58,000 homes and businesses without power across the state. By 9 p.m. that number was down to 24,731. Cumberland County, where 3,372 were still in the dark at 9 p.m., was heavily hit by outages. In Androscoggin County, 12,400 were without power by midafternoon, but as of 9 p.m. there were 7,113. Outages were lessening by the hour, down to 320 outages in Oxford County and 208 in Franklin County late in the evening.


In Lewiston, Marden’s closed for a while as power went out in that part of the city shortly after noon. The nearby Dunkin’, too. Traffic lights were out all over the place, sending police and public works crews scrambling to control traffic.

Those crews were also vexed by streets and roads that were washed over all over the place. According to the National Weather Service, that was mainly the result of leaves blowing off the trees. 

“The wind and rain have caused wet leaves to cover roadways and storm drains,” the NWS wrote in a 2 p.m. report, “which makes the roads slick and have areas of standing water. Driving on roads covered with wet leaves is similar to driving on road covered in ice.” 

At River Valley Village in Lewiston, a towering pine tree toppled in the wind, taking out at least one utility pole and creating a mess in the middle of the apartment complex formerly known as Tall Pines.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles in Lewiston, hampered by outages throughout the day, announced at about 3 p.m. that it would close its doors for the rest of the day.

Crews remove a large tree Friday that knocked down power lines on Tall Pines Drive in Lewiston. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

The wind was driving a lot of this chaos. In Turner, a weather station recorded a gust at 44 mph Friday morning and by that point, the storm still seemed to be intensifying. 


“My greenhouse almost blew away but I caught it — in my bathrobe — and tied it down with bungee cords and propped whatever I could find against it,” Lin Prescott of Auburn said at about 2:30 p.m. “It is holding for now. I thought I was going to get bunged on the head by my pine tree but so far it is still upright.” 

In addition, Prescott’s roof was leaking for the first time. Her day didn’t get any easier as it went along.

“Tree down now,” she reported about 3:20 p.m. “Had a birdhouse in it but hopefully the tenants got out before the storm. It hit my fence. I should go inspect closer but don’t have any more dry bathrobes!”

By the middle of the day, leaking roofs and basements were common complaints. 

“I have six bowls, pots and a bucket; blankets, bath towels, bedspread, sheet all over my living room floor due to leaking roof,” wrote Pamela Penney of Poland. “Not a fun day.” 

Others reported flashing blowing off their homes, sections of fencing blown over and trees down in their backyards. A few people had to chase Halloween decorations down the road.


In some areas, neighbors were teaming up to dig soggy leaves out of storm drains to get water draining off their neighborhood roads again.

“Me and my neighbors raked three wheelbarrows full of leaves blocking our storm drains and un-flooded our street — it was shin-deep and I only had flip flops handy,” Andrea Libby of Lewiston said.

One woman in Lewiston watched her trampoline go sailing over a fence and into a neighbor’s yard.

In Auburn, Fairview Elementary School was without power most of the day. Student did their lessons in  semidarkness and school officials sent out notices to parents to alert them to the situation, advising that phones were out, as well, so emergency calls should be directed to Park Avenue Elementary.

An official at the Androscoggin County Emergency Management Agency said they received no reports of roads being closed due to flooding. Reports on Friday afternoon were that the flood state on the Androscoggin River was at 3 feet, but expected to rise to 7.6 feet by Saturday afternoon.

“For reference, the flood stage on the Androscoggin River in the Lewiston/ Auburn area is at 13 feet,” ACEMA Director Angela Molino said. “Due to the forecasted precipitation, there was an expectation of heavy runoff into brooks, small streams, low-lying roadways and paved surfaces, and possible ponding on roads.”


It wouldn’t be a storm without car wrecks, and police just about everywhere responded to their share, most of them minor but a few serious.

In New Sharon just before 3 p.m., a multi-vehicle crash was reported on the Farmington Falls Road. Police investigating learned that a van driven eastbound by a Skowhegan man hydroplaned on the wet road and sideswiped a westbound tractor-trailer driven by a man from South Portland. The van continued skidding out of control, police said, and struck a westbound Ford F-150 and and a Honda Civic that was traveling behind the pickup truck. Three people were injured in the crash and the road was shut down for roughly 40 minutes.

The National Weather Service’s wind advisory ended about 3 p.m. and the wind did seem to diminish around that hour. The worst may have been over, but not for long — similar weather is in the forecast between Monday and Wednesday of next week. 

“Pardon me if you’ve seen this movie already from the current system, but the DVR is on repeat,” Haggett wrote. “This could be another 1-inch-plus rain event and feature some wind. There are more questions than answers at this point, this being far out, which is typical. While there is a window for a dry period over the weekend to do some outdoor cleanup for those who want to get started on it, but more leaves will come down with this storm.”

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