As of 9 p.m., power outages have been reported on several roads in Rockland, Rockport, Camden, Owls Head, South Thomaston, St. George, Cushing, Hope, Appleton, Washington, Friendship, Warren, Waldoboro, Union and Lincolnville. CMP reports 1,421 customers without power in Knox County and a total of 181,516 across its coverage area.

From Rockland’s Emergency Management Director/Fire Chief Charlie Jordan, 6 p.m., Aug. 28:

As the rain from Tropical Storm Irene appears to have abated, many area residents might be thinking this would be a good time to venture forth to observe this afternoon’s wind damage or current surf conditions. While the sky may be dry, Rockland’s Fire Chief and EMA Director Charlie Jordan warns that the National Weather Service has advised local public safety officials that the winds on the back side of Tropical Storm Irene may be stronger than those experienced along the Midcoast earlier in the day. Additionally, trees weakened by this afternoon’s winds may be more susceptible and only require a little push to fall this evening. Let’s be safe rather than sorry, he advised.

The following is the latest forecast from the National Weather Service in Gray for Rockland:

Tonight (Sunday Night): Tropical storm conditions expected. A chance of showers, mainly before midnight. The rain could be heavy at times. Cloudy, then gradually becoming partly cloudy, with a low around 62. South wind 30 to 40 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 70. Southwest wind between 11 and 16 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph.

For more preparedness information and access to the latest weather predictions and weather products, including online streaming of NOAA weather radio, visit the Knox County EMA website at www.knoxcountymaine.gov/ema.

Closings and cancellations

According to the SAD 40 website: “There is no school Monday August 29, 2011.”

Rockland Public Library is closed Sunday, Aug. 28.

Canceled RSU 20: SCHOOL CLOSED MONDAY, AUG. 29

Canceled Center for Maine Contemporary Art: CMCA Closed Sunday; Gallery Talk Rescheduled

Canceled St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church of Belfast: St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Belfast Sunday Services Canceled

Closed The Coastal Children’s Museum: Museum closed due to storm

From Knox Emergency Management Agency

The latest advisory shows storm peaking in the Midcoast between 9 and 10 p.m.

The National Weather Service is Gray is calling for sustained winds 30 to 45 mph this afternoon with gusts up to 60 mph possible. Rain projects are steady at 2 to 5 inches. Storm surge at about one foot.

Knox EMA is asking folks to stay off the road unless absolutely necessary as the storm comes through. Winds and rain are likely to cause power outages from downed trees and limbs.

From CMP

CMP has moved up its staffing plans from Monday morning to Sunday afternoon as heavy rain and high winds from Hurricane Irene are now forecast to reach the state by mid-day. The first wave of crews will include line workers, tree crews, assessors, and support staff.

“We’re always ready to adjust the scale and timing of our storm response to match the needs, and it looks as though Irene is going to arrive a little sooner than some of the earlier forecasts,” said Tom Depeter, CMP’s Director of Operations, in a news release. “Depending on how hard it hits, our priorities tomorrow will be to make any downed lines safe and to keep the power on at all vital facilities such as hospitals and public safety facilities.”

The company expects to add more crews from private contractors from Maine and Canada starting at 5 a.m. Monday. Depending on the severity of the storm, CMP has arranged to bring in as many as 200 line crews and 150 tree crews by Monday afternoon if necessary. The company is also continuing to contact utilities and contractors throughout the northeast for additional support.

Rockland Fire Chief Charlie Jordan issued this statement Saturday at 3 p.m.:

“Saturday’s midday guidance on Hurricane Irene shows tropical storm force winds arriving in Rockland at approximately 1 p.m. on Sunday and persisting through approximately 3 a.m. on Monday morning. The estimated highest sustained winds in the city of 59 mph should occur at roughly 10 p.m. Additional guidance will follow late Sunday morning.

“Given the forecast conditions, the best course of action is to get to your home by noon Sunday and stay there until the storm is over Monday morning. With the expected winds, the possibility of downed trees and power lines is real. Please do not attempt to move either downed trees or any type of utility line. Call CMP at the number on your bill or the Knox Regional Communications Center at 594-9386 to report such events. Weather conditions will dictate whether response is immediate or delayed until conditions improve.

“Per normal procedures, if you have a true emergency, please dial 911 and the appropriate agency or agencies will respond.

“Keep a flashlight with fresh batteries handy and avoid the use of candles as a supplementary lighting source during a power outage. Candles are made for the other 364 days of the year.”

Rockland Breakwater

With Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene expected to arrive Sunday, the city of Rockland will be closing the Marie H. Reed Breakwater Park located at the end of Samoset Road and the Rockland Breakwater to foot traffic and vehicle traffic at the end of Samoset road.

This closure will apply from Sunday, Aug. 28 at noon until Monday, Aug. 29 at 2 p.m., according to a news release from the Rockland Police Department.

Although often spectacular along the coast, wave action during and after a storm is highly unpredictable and can place one in a dangerous situation. During the summer of 2009, a rogue wave caused by an offshore tropical storm swept numerous people from the rocks in Acadia National Park into the ocean, tragically resulting in the death of a 7-year-old girl. Always be very cautious when near the ocean and be aware of high surf, massive waves, and rip tides.

Ken Bailey, Camden Lake Warden, issued the following on Friday afternoon:

Tropical force winds (55 to 73 mph) are predicted to start approximately at noon on Sunday and continue through 8 a.m. Monday. The peak wind force is expected at approximately 10 p.m. Sunday. This will coincide with a 10 p.m. Sunday high tide in Penobscot Bay. Winds will start in a northeasterly direction, changing to south-southeast as the storm passes through the area. Rainfall amounts of up to 5 or more inches are predicted. Power outages and downed trees are expected. A slight change in the hurricane’s track over Maine can have a huge effect on whether conditions become worse than expected or less severe than expected.

Although optional, mariners are encouraged to remove boats from the water and secure them. All loose items around your property also need to be secured.

Both dams on Megunticook Lake have been opened to drop water levels in anticipation of the rainfall.

Below is a list of some things you can do to minimize damage.

What can you do?

Secure lawn furniture

Remove any loose items from docks and decks.

Pull canoes and kayaks well above the present high-water water line as the potential for an increase in water level is real.

Are you going to leave your boat in the water or have it hauled? If your boat is still in the water is it secure? Is there someone available to bail your boat during and after the storm? Automatic bilge pumps can fail or run down a battery with extended use.

Do you have necessary supplies should power be lost?

If your neighbor has left the lake, pond or river check on their property, and call them with any concerns.

State parks

All coastal Maine state parks and several inland parks will be closed for day use on Sunday, Aug. 28, in anticipation of Hurricane Irene’s arrival in the state, according to Maine Department of Conservation officials.

Maine state parks closing on Saturday, Aug. 27:
Warren Island State Park, Penobscot Bay off Lincolnville and Eagle Island State Historic Site, off South Harpswell.

Maine State Parks Closing on Sunday, Aug. 28:
Owls Head, Camden Hills (day use), Fort Knox, Reid State Park, Ferry Beach, Fort McClary, Vaughan Woods, Crescent Beach/Two Lights/Kettle Cove, Wolfe Neck’s Woods, Mackworth Island, Bradbury, Sebago, Range Ponds, Popham Beach/Fort Popham, Fort Edgecomb, Colonial Pemaquid, Birch Point Beach, Holbrook Island, Warren Island, Eagle Island, Moose Point, Fort Point, Lamoine (day use), Roque Bluffs, Quoddy Head, Cobscook Bay (day use) and Shackford Head.

 

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