Irene Knocks out Power to 200K in Maine

Posted by jcashman

Courtesy of Associated Press

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (AP) — Hundreds of line crews planned to begin work in earnest Monday after the remnants of Tropical Storm Irene swept out of the state overnight, leaving more than 200,000 homes and businesses in the dark.


Once a hurricane, Irene still packed enough punch after it was downgraded to a tropical storm to knock down trees and power lines, wash out roads, cause flash flooding and send dozens to shelters.

The heaviest rainfall was in western Maine, where meteorologists estimated that 8-9 inches had fallen in northern Oxford County. Other areas had totals in the 2-4 inch range.

North of Carrabassett Valley, a Route 27 bridge failed and the town’s residents were left temporarily stranded because Route 27 to the south was covered with water, said Clyde Ross, an emergency management spokesman in Franklin County.

Strong winds knocked out power to 182,000 Central Maine Power Co. customers and for more than 29,000 Bangor Hydro Electric Co. customers, utility officials said.

Irene, which lost its status as a hurricane as it moved up the Eastern Seaboard, still carried some wallop by the time it reached Maine. The strongest gusts were 64 mph in Turner, 56 mph in Augusta and 52 mph in Portland, the National Weather Service said.

“We’ve seen nor’easters that have been bigger, but this one is still impressive. You

Courtesy of Associated Press

get the sea spray in your face. That’s what it’s all about, a little taste of the sea,” said Joe Rolland of Kennebunk as he watched the waves crash against the rocky shore in Kennebunkport.

In the Camp Ellis section of Saco, windblown surf splashed against homes, some of them a mere 10 yards from the seawall, as Joey Said battled the elements to reinforce plywood window coverings on a house where he and family members were vacationing.

“We got a front-row view,” said the Cambridge, Mass., resident.

In the tourist town of Old Orchard Beach, neon No Vacancy signs gleamed through the rain and all of the amusements were shut down. On the beach, folk-blues singer Anni Clark, wearing raingear from head to toe, strolled along to take in the sight.

“I like to witness Mother Nature at her best and worst,” Clark said. “Mother Nature is doing a big old dance and I want to dance with her.”

Across the region, about 60 people were staying in shelters. In Portland, some of the 30 people staying at a city-operated shelter at the Portland Expo included people with island homes in Casco Bay, a city spokeswoman said.

Students in several school districts that were supposed to start classes Monday were told they were getting an extra day of summer vacation.

Portland International Jetport remained open Sunday, but nearly all flights for the day and some scheduled for Monday morning had been canceled, city officials said. All flights from Bangor International Airport were canceled Sunday.

Flights were expected to resume on Monday, but it was unclear when Amtrak’s Downeaster would restart service between Portland and Boston. Rail officials wanted to inspect the track before deciding whether service would resume on Tuesday.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Related posts:

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  3. About 70,000 Without Power in Conn. Ahead of Irene
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  5. Mainers Get Set for Irene’s Arrival; Taking Boats Out of the Water

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Posted by jcashman on Aug 29 2011. Filed under Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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