BANGOR, Maine — Strong winds disrupted power services to thousands throughout the state on Thursday, according to Emera Maine.
The company reported Thursday morning more than 8,300 customers were in the dark because of heavy rain and wind gusts.
Northern Penobscot and Aroostook counties were hit the hardest by the outages, and workers were expected to remain in the field all day.
As of 8:30 p.m., all but five Emera Maine customers had their electricity restored.
Central Maine Power reported 22 of its customers were still without service at 8:30 p.m., down from more than 8,700 earlier in the day.
The University of Maine in Orono closed at 11 a.m. Thursday because of a power outage.
The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for northern Penobscot, Aroostook and Piscataquis counties, with 1 to 1.5 inches of rain expected throughout the day.
Three Northern Maine communities set new temperature records for Feb. 25, the weather service reported.
Caribou reached 49 degrees, shattering the mark of 43 set in 1984. Millinocket climbed to 52, 2 degrees ahead of the 1981 benchmark. Houlton peaked at 54 degrees, ahead of the 48-degree record set in 1978.
The high temperature at Bangor International Airport peaked at 51 degrees, shy of the record of 59 set in 1984.
The only other record set was in Portland, as the temperature at the Jetport peaked at 53 degrees, breaking a 31-year-old mark by 2 degrees.
Several schools in southern Aroostook delayed or canceled classes because of slick road conditions Thursday. Big Rock Mountain in Mars Hill was closed, and Meals on Wheels canceled services in Caribou, Madawaska and several other towns.
In Presque Isle, a school bus taking students to school Thursday morning was stuck on the rural Ashby Road, and police had to help the children transfer to another bus.
“Apparently as the driver was about to head down a rather large hill, he or she had second thoughts about it and applied the brakes,” Presque Isle police Chief Matt Irwin said in an email. “The bus began to slide on the icy road until it came to a stop in a sideways position. … Had the bus not stopped and continued on, the accident could have been quite significant.”
In Bar Harbor, a large tree blew over in the heavy winds and landed on four cars parked at College of the Atlantic. The cars appear to have been demolished in the incident, but no one was hurt.
According to COA spokesman Robert Levin, the college’s insurance company has been put in touch with the car owners’ insurance companies to determine which policies may cover the loss of the vehicles.
Public works payloaders and dump trucks were busy Thursday morning in Fort Kent clearing accumulated snow and slush from parts of Main Street, which were slightly flooded because of clogged storm drains.
BDN writers Jen Lynds, Bill Trotter and Anthony Brino and St. John Valley Times writer Don Eno contributed to this report.