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Thousands in Maine, Nova Scotia remain without power following weekend storm

Rip current warnings were in effect for large sections of the New England coast

People walked along Bar Harbor Town Beach on Sunday. Across much of Maine on a picture-perfect Sunday, utility and tree crews worked to restore power to thousands of customers who lost it in Saturday’s stormy weather.Tanner Pearson For The Boston Globe

BAR HARBOR — Frank Riske of Stoughton, fishing rod in hand, had staked out a spot with a picture-perfect view Sunday: a cloudless sky overhead, shimmering blue water below, and Bar Island rising in the distance.

The day before, the scene had been dominated by gray sky and crashing waves, as the shoreline was buffeted by a downgraded-but-still powerful Hurricane Lee as it made its way to landfall on Nova Scotia late Saturday afternoon.

But Sunday was peaceful enough for Riske to catch a mackerel, he said.

“It was, thankfully, not as bad as predicted,” said Riske, who was visiting Maine, about Saturday’s storm. “I expected worse.”


Across much of Maine on Sunday, and parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, utility and tree crews worked to restore power to thousands of customers who lost it in Saturday’s stormy weather.

Maine appeared to have been dealt the worst blow by the storm — a man was killed in his car by a falling tree. Hurricane Lee became a post-tropical cyclone before it pummeled parts of New England and Atlantic Canada on Saturday with heavy rains and strong winds that toppled trees and brought down power lines.

The US National Weather Service issued rip current warnings Sunday for large sections of Maine’s coast, along with part of southern New Hampshire, and eastern Massachusetts.

Lee made landfall in Nova Scotia around 4 p.m. Saturday, according to the US National Hurricane Center, causing coastal flooding, including in regions that had been damaged by wildfires and flooding over the summer.

More than 25,000 customers across the province were without electrical service as of about 9:30 p.m., according to Nova Scotia Power. In New Brunswick, more than 2,200 were without power, according to Énergie NB Power.

In Searsport, Maine, a 51-year-old man was killed Saturday morning after a large tree limb that tore down power lines fell onto his vehicle while he was driving along Route 1 during a period of high winds, according to authorities. Crews had to turn off power before extricating the man from his vehicle, and he later died at a hospital.


Authorities did not immediately respond Sunday to a request for an update on the investigation into his death.

In other incidents, Maine State Police reported that a tree falling onto the roadway smashed through the windshield of an oncoming van in Moro Plantation Saturday during the storm but missed the driver and his five passengers. In Rockland, a car was crushed by a fallen tree Saturday, but no one was hurt, according to Central Maine Power.

Central Maine Power and Versant Power said they had crews working Sunday to restore service.

The utility reported that roughly 126,000 customers had lost power at some point during the storm, the majority caused by fallen trees and branches taking down power lines.

Jonathan Breed, a spokesperson for Central Maine Power, said Sunday morning that the company was trying to restore power to about 20,000 customers and most were expected to have service back Sunday, he said. By about 9:30 p.m., more than 800 customers were waiting for their power to come back on, according to the utility’s website.

Versant Power reported about 11,000 customers without power at noon Sunday. Officials hoped to restore power for 90 percent of those customers by Sunday night, according to Marissa Minor, a company spokesperson. More than 2,100 Versant Power customers were still without power as of about 9:30 p.m., according to an outage map.


In Massachusetts, the state’s emergency management agency reported 66 customers without power Sunday evening just before 9:40 p.m.

At Agamont Park in Bar Harbor early Sunday afternoon, couples holding hands, families, and visitors with dogs strolled along the waterfront in the sunshine.

Aside from several boats still tied up off the shoreline and some broken branches, there were few signs of Saturday’s storm.

Riske, who had been in his Bar Harbor hotel room when the storm struck, didn’t think much of Lee.

“I don’t think I was scared at any point in the storm,” Riske said.

At Galyn’s restaurant in Bar Harbor, manager Corey Gordon was busy ushering guests to their tables for lunch. He’s from Winter Harbor and said he is used to stormy weather.

“It’s just another storm, it’s not a big deal,” Gordon said.

Several guests had canceled reservations before the storm, he said.

But by dinnertime Saturday, the restaurant was busy as many visitors who had holed up in their hotel rooms during the storm headed out for dinner.

Sunday was shaping up to be a busy day, too, he said.

“This is a normal Sunday... today is looking good so far,” Gordon said. “People need to eat.”

Globe correspondent Nick Stoico contributed to this report. Material from the Associated Press was used in it.


John Hilliard can be reached at