Powerful thunderstorms that hit northern Maine and western New Brunswick late Wednesday afternoon knocked down trees, damaged several buildings and left thousands of people without electricity on both sides of the border.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Lightning reportedly triggered a fire in Caribou after striking the chimney of a home on Scenic Drive.  Caribou firefighters were able to contain most of the fire damage to the attic and upper level of the home.  The three family members made it out safely.

Numerous trees and power lines were down late in the day along U.S. Route 1 from Bridgewater to the Littleton-Houlton town line.  Trees were also toppled on Route 11 with widespread debris.  A possible tornado touched down in Oxbow Plantation, but there’s no official confirmation at this time.

An Aroostook County Sheriff’s Deputy on patrol in the Oxbow area was reported to have been trapped by fallen trees.  Local residents used chain saws to free him. Sheriff’s Deputies, Forest Rangers, State Troopers and Maine DOT were several hours clearing a 2 - 3 mile section of Rt. 11 near the St. Croix Road.

Maine Public Service Company crews worked well into the evening to restore power to about 5000 customers from Mars Hill south to the Sherman-Patten area.

Thunder and lightning storms ripped through western New Brunswick for several hours Wednesday. The storms brought powerful winds which tore the roof off the Pantry Gift Shop in Woodstock and severely damaged the roof of the Carleton Civic Center.  Several property owners in western New Brunswick reported damage to buildings.

NB Power said over 4,000 customers were still without power in the Woodstock area this morning and about a thousand homes and businesses were still affected in the Fredericton area.

The rain isn't over yet.  Forecasters say more showers and thunderstorms are on the way today.  The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for most of Aroostook County from noon today through this evening.

New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization says folks in the Perth-Andover, Grand Falls and Florenceville-Bristol areas should also prepare for some flooding later today.