Much of county without power as wind, rain hit Midcoast

By Ethan Andrews and Carolyn Zachary | Oct 30, 2017
Photo by: Ethan Andrews On the Belfast Waterfront Oct. 30, Dylan Troy, foreground, and other volunteers collect debris from a powerboat that was smashed to pieces after coming loose from its mooring in the overnight storm.
Gothic Building, Belfast
(Video by: Carolyn Zachary)

Belfast — Much of Waldo County was without power Monday morning after high winds and rain swept through the Midcoast, taking trees, limbs and power lines with them.

At 10 a.m. Monday, Central Maine Power reported 18,719 out of 24,363 customers in Waldo County were without power. By early afternoon, the number had jumped to 21,092.

In a press release, CMP estimated that 60 percent of its customers were without power.Spokeswoman Gail Rice said it was largest number of outages the company's history, "significantly larger than the 1998 Ice Storm that people remember so well.”

Because of severe weather and power outages, schools were closed. Lines formed at the few gas stations that were open, and many customers filled gas cans in addition to their the tanks in their cars and trucks.

Small dramas unfolded throughout the morning. On the Belfast waterfront, a large powerboat was dashed to pieces on the beach after apparently coming loose from its mooring. Several people who were clearing the beach Monday morning identified the boat as belonging to United Farmer's Market of Maine owner Paul Naron.

In downtown Belfast a section of slatted roof protector tore loose atop the "Gothic Building" at 108 Main St.

Owner Todd French, who lives in the iconic building, called 911 about 9 a.m., concerned that the roof protector — then hanging from a dormer, anchored by the decorative roof finial at its peak — would fall to the sidewalk below.

A Belfast Public Works pickup truck arrived a few minutes later, followed at 9:14 a.m. by Belfast Fire Department's aerial ladder truck. Firefighter Terry Cook raised and scaled the ladder and worked the slatted protector loose. As it dropped to the sidewalk, it took out a flower box of chrysanthemums below, and the finial snapped off in the process.

"It's been up there 25 years," French said at the scene, explaining that the wooden slats protected anyone sunning on the roof from sitting directly on the asphalt surface.

Meanwhile, first responders were called to a number of sites around Waldo County where trees and power lines were down, some blocking roads, others causing local outages.

On the Belfast waterfront Oct. 30, volunteers collect pieces of a powerboat that was smashed to pieces in the overnight storm. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Terry Cook of Belfast Fire Department works to release a section of wooden-slatted roof rack from a dormer and roof finial atop The Gothic the morning of Oct. 30 as rain and high winds tore through Waldo County, causing tree damage and power outages. (Photo by: Carolyn Zachary)
Todd French, owner of The Gothic, waits for responders to his 911 call the morning of Oct. 30. Above him, a section of roof rack hangs from a dormer, blown there by high winds. (Photo by: Carolyn Zachary)
Gothic owner and resident Todd French and Belfast Public Works responder look up at the length of roof protector suspended above the sidewalk at 108 Main St. Oct. 30. (Photo by: Carolyn Zachary)
Storm-blown section of roof ramp falls to the sidewalk in front of The Gothic Oct. 30 after firefighter Terry Cook released it from a dormer and roof finial high above. (Photo by: Carolyn Zachary)
Roof protector lies on sidewalk at 108 Main St., together with remnants of a flower box filled with chrysanthemums, a casualty of its descent from a dormer three stories above. (Photo by: Carolyn Zachary)
A large tree limb blocks Kaler Road in Belfast Oct. 30, taken down by high winds overnight. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
City workers clear debris from Woods Road in Belfast Oct. 30 after an overnight storm. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
A tree lies embedded in the roof of house in Bayside Village Oct. 30 after an overnight storm that took down trees and limbs around the Midcoast. (Photo by: Ned Lightner)
A utility pole leans at a 45-degree angle over Back Belmont Road Oct. 30 after an overnight storm that buffeted the Midcoast with intense winds. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
Jonathan Fulford, candidate for Maine's Second Congressional District, carries the propeller of a boat destroyed in the Oct. 30 storm to the Belfast harbor master's office for safe keeping. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)
(Courtesy of: Tony Chiodo)
(Courtesy of: Tony Chiodo)
(Courtesy of: Tony Chiodo)
(Photo by: Betsy Headley)
(Photo by: Betsy Headley)
(Photo by: Betsy Headley)
(Courtesy of: Belfast Police Department)
(Courtesy of: Belfast Police Department)
(Courtesy of: Belfast Police Department)
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