Maine heads back toward spring after Friday’s nor’easter

Brewer Public Works employee Gordon Tarent (center)hooks a chain to a front-end-loader preparing to pull a BAT bus back onto State Street after it slipped sideways off the icy roadway.
Brewer Public Works employee Gordon Tarent (center)hooks a chain to a front-end-loader preparing to pull a BAT bus back onto State Street after it slipped sideways off the icy roadway.
Posted April 01, 2011, at 11:13 a.m.
Last modified April 03, 2011, at 2:51 p.m.
Slowed by Friday's heavy wet snow Friday afternoon, a rafter of wild turkeys retreated to an orchard tree off Route 181 (Mariaville Rd.) in Mariaville.
Slowed by Friday's heavy wet snow Friday afternoon, a rafter of wild turkeys retreated to an orchard tree off Route 181 (Mariaville Rd.) in Mariaville.
A man walks across Pickering Square in Bangor during Friday's snow storm.
A man walks across Pickering Square in Bangor during Friday's snow storm.
A motorist watches her car hauled onto a flatbed truck after she went off the highway on Interstate 295 in Freeport during Friday's spring snow storm.
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
A motorist watches her car hauled onto a flatbed truck after she went off the highway on Interstate 295 in Freeport during Friday's spring snow storm.
The tail lights of a car traveling down a road during a spring snowstorm leave a light trail in this 30-second time exposure in Freeport during Friday's snowstorm.
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
The tail lights of a car traveling down a road during a spring snowstorm leave a light trail in this 30-second time exposure in Freeport during Friday's snowstorm.
A man walks across Pickering Square in Bangor during Friday's snow storm.
A man walks across Pickering Square in Bangor during Friday's snow storm.
A motorist passes a sign urging drivers to reduce their speed to 45 mph during heavy snow fall on Interstate 295 in Freeport on Friday.
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
A motorist passes a sign urging drivers to reduce their speed to 45 mph during heavy snow fall on Interstate 295 in Freeport on Friday.
A snowplow clearing the road in Freeport during a spring snowstorm leaves a light trail in this 15-second time-exposure during Friday's snowstorm.
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
A snowplow clearing the road in Freeport during a spring snowstorm leaves a light trail in this 15-second time-exposure during Friday's snowstorm.

LINCOLN, Maine — Morgan Whitney might have been the only person in northern Maine on Saturday who actually enjoyed the April Fools’ Day nor’easter.

The 20-year-old Topsham resident stopped at a Lincoln convenience store and bought more than $75 in gasoline for her pickup truck and Ski-Doo GSX snowmobile as she headed to Millinocket for one last weekend of sledding.

“We probably got 12 inches of snow up there and they’re still grooming trails. I have never gone sledding this late in the year,” said Whitney, a snowmobiler since she was 12. “This whole state has been very good [for sledding] all year. This year I did a lot of sledding in southern Maine where I have never been able to go before. This is the best year I have ever seen.”

Accumulations of as much as 17½ inches of snow had fallen as the snowstorm that hit Friday blew itself out by Saturday morning, according to the snowfall totals posted by the National Weather Service office in Caribou on its website. Dover-Foxcroft in Piscataquis County had that amount. Thirteen inches fell in Milo, while observers reported 8 inches in Kokadjo.

The weather for the early part of this week will show how erratic April can be, said Lee Foster, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Caribou.

Monday’s temperatures will be in the low 40s with clouds moving in as the day progresses until rain starts to fall into Monday night, with snow falling in the state’s northernmost reaches, Foster said.

“We’re not anticipating flooding at this point with the showers,” Foster said. “You might get some storm drains blocked and some ponding of water, but that should melt the snow down pretty good.”

 

Temperatures will peak in the low 50s in the Bangor area on Tuesday before a low-pressure system sinks temperatures into the low 20s on Tuesday night. Wednesday’s weather, he said, will be more typical: lows in the lower 40s.

The above-freezing temperatures should help significantly reduce snow accumulations left by the storm, Foster said. In Aroostook County, 15 inches of snow were reported in Oakfield, 14 in Houlton, 9 in Bridgewater, and 4 inches in Van Buren. Hancock County’s high was 11 inches in Aurora, while 8 inches fell in the town of Hancock and 5½ in Deer Isle.

East Corinth had 16 inches in Penobscot County, where Bangor reported 14.4  to 12½ inches, Millinocket had 12½ to 13½ inches, Patten had 8½  to 10 and Orono had 9½ inches.

In Washington County, Topsfield had 15 inches, Columbia Falls 8 inches and 5 inches in Cherryfield.

Power outages were the most consistently reported problem caused by the storm, though utility crews were making progress. As of Sunday morning, Bangor Hydro Electric Co. spokeswoman Susan Faloon reported 338 customers were without electricity, compared to 4,469 central and eastern Maine customers at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Faloon said power would be completely restored to all customers on Sunday.

Penobscot County had the most outages on Sunday with 232, followed by Hancock County with 106. Electricity was fully restored as of Sunday morning in the Washington County and the Lincoln-Piscataquis County areas.

At its peak, the storm knocked out electrical services to 10,000 Bangor-Hydro customers, Faloon said.

Central Maine Power, meanwhile, reported that all of its customers had power restored Sunday. Fewer than 800 customers had been still without power as of 5 p.m. Saturday.

At the storm’s peak, CMP reported 70,000 outages.

For 13-year-old Kyran Daszkiewicz and his grandmother, 57-year-old Judith Fleming, the storm was just another misery in a winter full of miseries. Kyran earned $15 shoveling a space in front of 81 Lee Road in Lincoln, where Fleming works as a supportive living facilitator to a disabled resident.

“I don’t want any more snow,” Daszkiewicz said. “I don’t really like the snow. I have had enough of it.”

“It needs to stop,” said Fleming, who lives in Burlington. “I had to come to work late today because the snow was right up to the bumper on the car. It stresses me out to have to drive in this stuff, especially since I live on an unmaintained road.”

Thirty-three-year-old Ryan Stevens of Lincoln said the storm prevented him from fly fishing on the west branch of the Penobscot River on Friday, the start of the fly-fishing season, but that a friend, Mark Strang of Enfield, was out there in the snowstorm for almost a dozen hours.

Most of the fly-fishing opening days over the last 10 years have been thwarted for him by heavy snowfalls, Stevens said, but he expects to get out there next week.

“We get together to tie flies all winter on Monday nights,” Stevens said. “I am used to having things tight this time of year. You just have to roll with the weather as best you can.”

A wry sort of humor about the weather pervaded with most of the customers who mentioned it while shopping at the Why Not Stop? convenience store on West Broadway in Lincoln, clerk Andrea Crawford said.

“Everybody,” Crawford said, “has been saying that the storm was an April Fools joke.”

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