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5 to 9 inches of snow expected in southern half of Maine

Kevin Bennett | BDN
Kevin Bennett | BDN
A lone snowman stands vigil next to tents on the lawn at the Bangor Public Library on Sunday, October 30, 2011.
By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff

A major snowstorm is crawling up the East Coast just in time to disrupt travel plans for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The storm is expected to reach western and central Maine late Tuesday night and continue into Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service in Caribou.

As of Tuesday evening, a winter storm warning was in effect for the southern and western parts of the state, while a winter weather advisory was in effect for eastern and interior parts of the state.

Forecasters are expecting 5 to 9 inches of heavy, wet snow to fall in the southern half of the state. The storm is expected to taper off before hitting Aroostook County, according to Mark Bloomer at the National Weather Service.

Bloomer also said much of Maine from Bangor south and coastal areas could see freezing rain.

While some forecasters are predicting shaky travel plans, Gregory Hughes, marketing director at the Portland Jetport, doesn’t think that will be case.

“I don’t think it’s going to have that much of an impact here,” he said. “We’ll get the airplanes in tonight so they’ll be ready to rip first thing in the morning.”

Hughes said that plow crews will be on standby should runways need to be cleared, and that planes will be de-iced first thing in the morning.

“I don’t think there are going to be many problems” on Wednesday, Hughes told the Bangor Daily News.

Central Maine Power also is gearing up for the storm. The company’s utility trucks are fueled and equipped, while key CMP personnel held a pre-storm planning session to discuss staffing levels and finish response plans.

“We’ve put our storm response plan into motion, and we’re watching the forecast closely,” said Central Maine Power spokesperson John Carroll. “While we sincerely hope the weather does not disrupt service during the Thanksgiving holiday, we have put our employees on notice that they may be called upon should outages occur.”

BDN reporter Dawn Gagnon contributed to this report.

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