News Feature

Deer Isle
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, October 24, 2019
Wicked weather knocks out power, downs trees

Nor’easter downs trees

Winds, with gusts in excess of 70 miles an hour, broke and uprooted trees across Deer Isle and Stonington October 17, including this poplar tree which landed on a pile of like-colored traps.

Photo by Casey Spofford Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Faith DeAmbrose

At the height of the season’s first nor’easter, more than 20,000 meters in Hancock County were without power as winds whipped the leaves off of trees and in some instances the trees right from the ground.

The October 17 storm brought a small wind advisory keeping boats on their moorings, while downed trees kept people from their morning commute. The Deer Isle-Stonington schools, along with those in Union 76 and Union 93, were canceled due to lack of power.

Wind gusts reached up to 73 mph in Stonington, while sustained gusts ranged from 40 to 60 mph throughout Hancock County, according to the National Weather Service. Gusting winds also reached 59 miles an hour on the Sedgwick Ridge and 58 miles in Brooklin.

The storm docked the Isle au Haut mailboat with a posting on its social media account from its Captain: “Trent and I are currently stuck in Deer Isle due to multiple downed trees across the road! The driving is somewhat treacherous with tons of small branches and lots of slick leaves everywhere. Needless to say, the 7 a.m. boat will be delayed/postponed until we can get to the boat company, and see what the ocean conditions are.”

The fire department and road crew in Stonington were out for the better part of two days cleaning up debris, said fire chief Ryan Hayward. “The main roads fared better than the side streets,” said Hayward, adding that Oceanville, Sunshine and Crockett Cove were without power for three days. “Some people got stuck in their driveways due to downed lines and trees, said Hayward, but in many instances the department could not help until all power was cut from the lines.”

Power surges also fried an electric panel to a compactor at Stonington’s transfer station as well as some of the fuel pump relays at the Fish Pier, said Town Manager Kathleen Billings. It is unclear as of press time, what the financial impact of the damage will be, said Billings.