More than 200,000 people were without electricity as of 8 a.m. Thursday because of extremely high winds.

As of 11:00 a.m., Central Maine Power was reporting 172,104 customers without power, while Emera reported 39,798 affected. Crews are out, but restoration could take some time, as many of the outages are being caused by downed branches and trees. Residents are reminded not to touch downed lines and to never attempt to clear branches off lines. The issue should be reported to CMP or Emera, so the professionals can deal with it safely.

We have a list of schools that are experiencing delays and closures, and that will be updated throughout the day.

Drivers are encouraged to give themselves extra time on their commute, and to be prepared for debris in the road and/or possible delays. Maine law dictates that drivers have their headlights on whenever the windshield wipers are on.

Take it easy today and be safe. And look on the bright side ... at least it's not snow.

State officials issued the following reminders:

  • Stay informed about weather conditions in your area – monitor National Weather Service forecasts and radio, along with broadcast weather reports
  • Drive slowly, use your headlights and allow extra space between vehicles
  • Yield to emergency vehicles and give them plenty of room to work
  • Use your generator safely, always use outside with exhaust pointed away from any windows and doors
  • Turn around, don’t drown – do not drive through flood roadways