Nearly 10,000 Maine households without power as high winds hit the state

Thousands of Mainers were left without power Thursday afternoon as the state was hit with high winds and gusts topping 50 miles per hour in some places.

Emera Maine estimated 3,040 of its customers were without power just before 4:30 p.m. Thursday, attributing the outages to the wind.

Central Maine Power Co. was reporting 6,642 customers without power just after 4 p.m., with more than 1,200 customers out in each Cumberland, Kennebec and Oxford counties.

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CBS 13 Meteorologist Lexie O’Connor said wind gusts topped 35 miles per hour several places around Maine, with gusts in Bangor reaching 43 miles per hour. The National Weather Service recorded gusts topping 50 miles per hour in Frenchville.

O’Connor said a red flag warning — signaling a high risk of wildfires — has been issued for coastal York County until 8 p.m. Thursday due to the low humidity and high winds, which can carry sparks and spread flames.

In northern Maine, where more snow accumulated Wednesday, the National Weather Service’s Caribou office warned that winds are expected to blow snow across roadways, limiting visibility and affecting travel.

The weather service urged evening commuters to seek routes that avoid open areas more prone to snow drifts and winds.