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Power out for over 150,000 customers as wind, rain pummel Maine

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Patty Wight
/
Maine Public
Rain and astronomical tides fully submerge the Portland Pier on Friday.

More than 150,000 Mainers are without power as a storm pummels the state with high winds that are gusting up to 60 mph on Friday.

As of early afternoon, most of the outages are concentrated in Cumberland and York counties.

Both Central Maine Power and Versant say they have hundreds of crews working to clear wires and restore power. CMP vice president of electric operations Adam Desrosiers says the company brought in crews from as far away as Georgia and Tennessee.

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Murray Carpenter
/
Maine Public
Detritus at a flooded Belfast Public Landing on Friday.

"Where the storm is impacting most of New England, resources started getting acquired pretty quickly," he said. "That's why we had to reach so far. But we're confident that the number of crews we have is the number we need to get started."

Several warming centers have opened in Cumberland, Oxford and Androscoggin counties, according to the Maine Emergency Management Agency website.

The heavy rain from the storm is also causing coastal flooding, magnified by astronomical tides. Police in Wells had to rescue an individual from a car trapped in high water. Flooding also prompted Scarborough police to close a portion of Route 1.

The National Weather Service says that the rain and snowmelt are also causing flooding in streams and rivers which could continue even when the storm is over.

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Murray Carpenter
/
Maine Public
The parking lot at Nautilus in Belfast, adjacent to the town landing, flooded on Friday.

Hazardous weather is expected through Saturday. Temperatures will plunge overnight and state emergency management officials warn that could make unsafe driving conditions due to flash freezing along roadways.

Gov. Janet Mills is urging Mainers to continue to exercise caution for the duration of the storm.

“With power outages mounting, flooding and strong winds occurring, and a drop in temperatures expected tonight, I urge Maine people to take every precaution to protect themselves and their families, especially when traveling," she said in a written release. "Please avoid areas that are experiencing flooding and give utility crews, emergency first responders, and other storm response crews plenty of room to work."