Island Police Log: Wind, rain knock out power, ignite a fire



BAR HARBOR — Police, fire and highway departments and the Maine Department of Transportation had their hands full Sunday evening when rain and high winds brought down tree limbs, knocked out power and flooded some basements. There were no reports of injury or major damage, Lt. David Kerns said.

All of those agencies may respond to downed tree limbs and power lines, he said, but only the power company Emera Maine is authorized to move the lines themselves. Highway department and DOT crews are best suited to cut and remove trees and large limbs.

“It takes everybody, but everybody has a different job,” Kerns said.

Much of Bar Harbor, as well as Northeast Harbor, Otter Creek and other areas, lost power. Trees were down across Route 3, Crooked Road, Norway Drive, Sand Point Road and Cromwell Harbor Road. In a few cases, basements flooded when the power went out and sump pumps couldn’t operate.

The Fire Department’s pumps are not designed to pump water from a basement, Fire Chief Matt Bartlett said. “We do have a few small pumps, but they need several inches of water to work. If water in a basement is getting near a furnace or electrical equipment, we do want to know.”

Firefighters also responded to small fires caused by electricity arcing from transformers or when tree branches touched live wires.

In one case, a fire started in a backyard when the power came back on, firefighters said. “The power line was lying across a tree in the yard, so when the power came back on, the tree became energized and caught fire, but so did other parts of its root system across the yard,” Bartlett said.

In town, a piece of plywood blew across the parking lot near the police station, striking a parked car, police said.

Bartlett stressed that even if the power is out to a house, there’s no way to know for sure whether a downed line has current flowing until Emera crews arrive and secure it.

He also asked residents to respect warnings that a road is unsafe. “If you see traffic cones blocking the road, that means the road is shut down,” he said.

Henry Elliot, 61, of Blue Hill was arrested on charges of criminal trespassing and violating conditions of his release Monday afternoon at a building on the College of the Atlantic campus. He was taken to the Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth.

James Collier, 32, of Bar Harbor was arrested Jan. 7 on the Old Farm Road on a charge of operating while under the influence.

Officer Soren Sundberg noticed Jan. 7 that a speed-limit sign along Otter Cliff Road had been vandalized, changing the number shown. He notified the state department of transportation.

Marion Fine, 54, of Bar Harbor was headed off island Friday morning in her Ford pickup truck when the truck slid on a patch of black ice on Route 3 at the Bluffs, police said. The truck hit a granite pillar, knocking over the stone and causing the truck to spin and roll onto its side. The truck was towed. No serious injuries were reported.

Southwest Harbor

A Mount Desert man who allegedly sent threatening text messages to a woman working in Southwest Harbor was arrested Jan. 8 on domestic violence charges.

Richard Closson, 53, was arrested on a warrant charging him with domestic violence criminal threatening, domestic violence terrorizing and harassment by telephone or electronic device.

Chief Alan Brown, working in conjunction with Mount Desert Police Lt. Kevin Edgecomb, was able to collect enough evidence for an affidavit for the warrant.

Closson was located at a residence in Knox County and taken into custody, Brown said.

Icy road conditions Friday contributed to a single-vehicle crash on Route 102 near the entrance to Echo Lake.

Peggy Jordan, 67, of Southwest Harbor was driving a 2010 Toyota which slid off the road and down an embankment. The vehicle sustained about $6,000 damage.

A tip led to the Jan. 7 arrest of a Holden man on an outstanding warrant.

Robert Power, 36, was stopped while driving in town and arrested on a Penobscot County warrant for failure to appear in court.

A woman reported Saturday that her dog had been attacked while she was walking with the dog near the Mill Pond the previous day.

Mount Desert

The department’s second Coffee With A Cop event was a success with about 75 residents stopping by Main Street Variety in Northeast Harbor on Friday to have a cup of coffee and chat with Chief Jim Willis, Edgecomb, Officer Ken Mitchell and Officer Chris Wharff.

A hit-and-run vehicle sideswiped a moving pickup Jan. 6 on the Pretty Marsh Road.

Joseph Grace, 73, was eastbound when a pickup, described as red with a gray utility bed, crossed the centerline and struck the front fender of his 2014 GMC pickup. The red truck did not stop, according to reports.

Four accidents where vehicles struck deer were reported this week.

On Friday, Ellen Kelley, 56, of Tremont was driving on the Indian Point Road when her 2016 Chevrolet hit a deer in the road.

A 2009 Toyota driven by Mary Davidson, 56, of Mount Desert struck a deer Jan. 7 on Route 198.

Daniel Norwood, 56, of Southwest Harbor was driving a 2015 GMC pickup on Route 102 Jan. 7 when the vehicle collided with a deer near Acadia Mountain.

A 2012 Jeep driven by Julianna Bennoch, 51, of Mount Desert struck a deer Jan. 6 on Route 198.

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