July 18, 2013

Weather service: 7,500 lightning strikes in Maine, N.H.

That figure doesn't include far northern Maine, which experienced some of the heaviest thunderstorms Wednesday night.

The Associated Press

GRAY — Those thunderstorms that rolled through Maine and New Hampshire on Wednesday produced plenty of lightning.

click image to enlarge

This image of lightning over Casco Bay Bridge was taken Wednesday night by Portland photographer John Kastelein. The photo was taken from a widow's watch on top of 21 State St. Kastelein's photography can be seen at the Hilltop Coffee Shop on Munjoy Hill through July and at his website, www.outworldimages.com.

Related headlines

The National Weather Service in Gray said there were about 7,500 lightning strikes over a four-hour period Wednesday night in its coverage area in New Hampshire and southern and western Maine.

Those figures don't include far northern Maine, which experienced some of the heaviest thunderstorms.

National Weather Service meteorologists recorded more than 1,000 lightning strikes across Carroll County in New Hampshire alone in the course of one hour, including several credited with starting fires.

WMWV radio reported that the strikes were recorded from 9 to 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Conway, N.H., fire officials say they are 90 percent sure lightning sparked the fire at a large barn at Grammy Thorne Farm that drew responders from Fryeburg, Maine, as well.

Fire officials say lightning caused about $10,000 worth of damage to the electrical and liquid propane gas systems to a Conway house.

Madison, N.H., Fire Chief Rick Judkins believes lightning was to blame for a fire that destroyed a historic bread and breakfast – Mary's Farm – and killed two dogs.

Meteorologist Margaret Curtis says it was an unusually high number of lightning strikes.

The National Weather Service says more thunderstorms were expected throughout the region Thursday evening, as well.

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