Powerful winds buffet New England, knock out power in Maine

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A powerful storm with gusts topping 60 mph swept across coastal New England, knocking out electricity for more than 100,000 homes and businesses in Maine, officials said Tuesday.

Maine recorded gusts of 63 mph (101 kph) in Cape Elizabeth, 61 mph (98 kph) in Eastport and 58 mph (93 kph) in Bangor, the National Weather Service said. Readings topped 50 mph across coastal New England.

In Portland, the storm produced a light show for the city when a 7,200-volt power line came down on the city’s West End, with the live wire and ensuing fire causing a handful of evacuations, officials said. The storm also knocked out the 911 emergency communication system for a time.

By Tuesday morning, Central Maine Power was reporting about 85,000 power outages, and Versant Power had about 13,500 power outages.

A low pressure system to the west created the storm with rain falling steadily on Monday and winds building in the evening.

More than 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of rain fell in some locations, meteorologist Mike Cempa said. A daily record for rainfall was set in Concord, New Hampshire, with nearly 1.5 inches (4 centimeters).

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