Boothbay to Belfast: heavy, wet snow with strong winds; power out some areas

UPDATE: Storm rages on with treacherous driving, dangerous winds, downed wires... stay home

A winter dress rehearsal
Sun, 11/02/2014 - 6:45pm

    Heavy wet snow is taking down trees and power lines, sending cars into ditches and creating big headaches for local police, firefighters, public works crews and tow truck drivers, who are all over the place tending to storm-related incidents. Trees are cracking and falling in many places, and wires are across roadways.

    A fire in St. George has resulted in a mutual aid response this evening from area fire departments.

    A house fire in South Thomaston earlier today drew multiple fire departments to the scene. Downed trees and wires added to the situation there, as it did to a critical ambulance call to a Rockport residence today.

    10 to 12 power poles have broken alone in Rockport.

    Rockport firefighters are helping North East Mobile Health with ambulance checks and the fire department has responded to 30 or more incidents today.

    “I’ve stopped counting,” said Rockport Fire Chief Jason Peasley, at 6:30 p.m.

    A number of roads are closed in the region from down trees. Union Street in Rockport Village is shut down because of down trees. So is West Street Extension, Calderwood Lane, outer Main Street.

    So far today, Camden Fire Department has responded to 55 incidents that included downed trees, wires, tree into house, tree into cars. Route 1 at Springbrook Hill was closed for three hours and the road was impassable.

    Knox County Regional Communications Center, the county’s dispatch, is working on its back-up system.

    Camden Fire Chief Chris Farley said at 6 p.m. that the roads remain dangerous advised people to go home, stay there, and let the public works crew do their work. Currently, eight Camden volunteers are working at various incidents.

    Rockport Public Works Director Mike Young has been working all day with a full crew trying to keep the roads passable.

    “It’s been a challenge,” he said. Currently, there numerous roads closed around the region.

    Edgecomb Fire Chief Roy Potter said his department had been called to so many motor vehicle accidents Sunday, he wasn’t sure how many; but he estimated a half dozen, fortunately all without injuries, he said.

    As of 5 p.m. Sunday, the first nightfall since Mainers set their clocks back an hour, Potter said Edgecomb firefighters were going around town removing trees and limbs from roads. At the time of the phone interview, the town had no road closures. Earlier, Potter had to close Route 27 for about 10 minutes so that a tow truck could remove a vehicle.

    Asked how the road conditions were heading into the evening, Potter said: “Slippery. (Route) 27 right now is pretty much a glare of ice.”

    Knox, Waldo and Lincoln counties, in that order, were the hardest hit by power outages as of shortly after 5 p.m, according to Central Maine Power’s website: Knox had 19,093 customers out; Waldo, 17,766; and Lincoln 16,602.

    “We just called the afternoon shift out to assist with calls for cars off the road,” said Knox County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Carroll, just after 10 a.m.

    The power is out in some spots, including Rockport. Trees are coming down in many places, creating dangerous situations. At one Rockport home, two trees are lying across a roof, and one in a driveway. Wires are down on Maple St. in Camden.

    A large tree is down in Rockport across Pascal Ave. near the intersection of West Street, and it took down power lines, as well. In Camden, a large tree limb is lying across Colcord Ave.

    Outages in Lincoln County were mounting late Sunday morning, with Boothbay Harbor and Southport hardest hit. Each had just over 1,000 customers without power, according to Central Maine Power’s website. Smaller outages were reported in Wiscasset, Westport Island, Boothbay, Bristol, South Bristol, Nobleboro and Bremen.

    Law enforcement is encouraging Mainers to stay home and ride out the weather, and first responders are already weary from the growing list of “brush fires.” Stranded motorists waiting for Triple AAA are advised, in some locations, that the response time may be a few hours.

    11 a.m.: Sand trucks are just getting started, and Maine Department of Transportation plows are now hitting the main roads.

    The Nov. 1-2 storm is anticipated to dump six to 10 inches along the Midcoast, with winds 30 to 50 mph, and gusts up to 55 mph. The storm’s strength was upgraded overnight, with even more snow in the forecast.

    The storm is expected to wind down by 4 p.m. Ferries to the islands are not running today.

    CMP reports the following power outages:

    Knox County

    APPLETON 705 1
    CAMDEN 3,723 5
    CUSHING 986 47
    HOPE 946 1
    OWLS HEAD 1,208 2
    ROCKLAND 4,639 198
    ROCKPORT 2,451 331
    ST GEORGE 2,302 26
    UNION 1,379 45
    WARREN 2,144 93
    WASHINGTON 897 52

     Lincoln County

    by Town Customers Without Power
    BOOTHBAY 2,770 2
    BOOTHBAY HARBOR 2,556 1,093
    BREMEN 654 129
    BRISTOL 2,880 1,130
    DAMARISCOTTA 1,715 192
    NEWCASTLE 1,218 17
    NOBLEBORO 1,324 229
    SOUTH BRISTOL 1,128 241
    SOUTHPORT 1,013 1,008
    WALDOBORO 2,920 43
    WESTPORT 604 53
    WISCASSET 2,250 24

    Waldo County

    Total Customers
    by Town
    Customers Without Power
    BELFAST 4,415 1
    BELMONT 494 1
    FRANKFORT 673 2
    ISLESBORO 923 1
    LINCOLNVILLE 1,696 14
    MONROE 530 1
    MONTVILLE 568 10
    NORTHPORT 1,289 2
    PALERMO 958 24
    PROSPECT 373 27
    SEARSMONT 806 2
    SEARSPORT 1,763 35
    SWANVILLE 859 1
    WINTERPORT 1,481 1


    An early season winter storm brought snow in on a northeast track into the Midcoast Saturday, Nov. 1, and into Sunday.

    The first round of precipitation began to mix or change to snow overnight.

    "A second batch of precipitation Sunday could lead to more significant snowfall for the Midcoast," meteorologists said in a 9 p.m., Nov. 1, weather update. "Snow may be heavy at times during the first half of Sunday before winding down in the evening."

    Coastal areas will see strong gusty winds in two rounds: one tonight, the second one behind the storm on Sunday, the update said.

    A winter storm warning and hazardous weather outlook was issued for the region from Boothbay Harbor to Belfast and inland to Unity and remained in effect until 4 p.m. Sunday.

    Conditions were to include wet snow and wind, four to six inches of accumulation. Winds are expected to blow from the north at 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph.

    The forecast for the week is as follows:

    • Sunday night, rain and snow likely before 8pm, then a chance of snow between 8pm and 10pm. Cloudy, then gradually becoming partly cloudy, with a low around 27. Blustery, with a northwest wind 15 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
    • Monday, mostly sunny, with a high near 40. West wind around 15 mph.
    • Monday night, mostly clear, with a low around 28. Northwest wind around 10 mph.
    • Tuesday, mostly sunny, with a high near 48.
    • Tuesday night, mostly cloudy, with a low around 42.
    • Wednesday, mostly cloudy, with a high near 53.
    • Wednesday night, mostly cloudy, with a low around 41.
    • Thursday, a 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 52.
    • Thursday night, showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 40. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
    • Friday, a 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 47.
    • Friday night, partly cloudy, with a low around 33.
    • Saturday, mostly sunny, with a high near 44.

    Reach Editorial Director Lynda Clancy at; 207-706-6657.
    Susan Johns, Assistant Editor, Wiscasset Newspaper, contributed to this report.