July 18, 2013

Forecast: Expect hot spell to peak Friday

STAFF REPORT

Friday is shaping up to be the hottest day of a hot week in central Maine, according to the National Weather Service, but then things should get better.

click image to enlarge

Lucy swims back to shore after she retrieved a tennis ball Thursday in the Hallowell Reservior. It has been a popular place for people and pets to keep cool in the recent run of hot weather.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

“Friday is shaping up to be the hottest day of this stretch,” Steve Capriola, a meterologist for the National Weather Service in Gray.

Falling trees caused damage to cars, power lines and blocked roads in Dexter after a brief storm brought strong winds through the area between 6:30 and 7 p.m.

According to Dexter Police Officer Gary Morin, Central Maine Power called several crews to help deal with trees affecting powerlines, cutting off power to the majority of town.

“We’re sitting in the dark at the office as we speak,” Morin said.

Morin said the police department worked with Dexter Fire Department and Public Works to help clear some roads that were blocked due to fallen trees.

“Route 94 had a couple of trees across it,” he said. “So did Lincoln Street, part of Railroad Avenue, and Cedar Street. We got a lot of the roads opened up.

“We responded to a woman who had a tree fall in front of her door, so she couldn’t get out. We helped remove that.”

Morin said nobody was injured.

Pending no further storms causing anymore damage, Morin said all the roads should be cleaned up by morning and power should be restored. Morin said the storm lasted 20 minutes.

ISO New England, which earlier this week asked for voluntary electricity conservation from New England residents through Thursday, has extended the request to through the end of the week.

“This request continues to be a precautionary measure to help keep supply and demand in balance as consumer demand is forecasted to increase,” the company said in a press release Thursday afternoon.

The company said the public’s response so far to the request for conservation has been effective.
The company earlier in the week suggested people raise air conditioner temperatures to 74 to 78 degrees, turn off unneeded lights and appliances, turn off unnecessary office equipment, shut off air conditioners when leaving home for extended periods and put off doing laundry and other chores that require electricity until early morning or late evening during off peak hours.

The company said that demand peaked Wednesday at 25,665 megawatts, the 10th highest demand day on record in New England.

ISO New England forecast a peak of 27,900 for Thursday and today, but Thursday’s numbers weren’t yet available. New England’s record is 28,130 megawatts, set Aug. 2, 2006.

ISO New England said in its press release that it continues to monitor power closely and if demand outstrips supply, it would ask high-demand users to cut back and seek power from neighboring regions.

Augusta had two days eclipsing 90 degrees this week, sandwiched between two days in the high 80s. A heat wave is defined by three consecutive days of 90-plus temperatures.

Friday’s forecast in both Augusta and Waterville calls for a high of 93. It was 91 in Augusta on Monday, 90 on Tuesday, 87 Wednesday and 84 Thursday, according to the NWS.

Capriola said things will cool down for the weekend.

The NWS predicts central Maine temperatures in the mid-80s Saturday before cooling to the 70s Sunday and Monday.

— Staff Writer Jesse Scardina contribued to this story

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