April 22, 2018
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Snowstorm socks The County; close to 20 inches reported

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

MADAWASKA, Maine — Close to 20 inches of snow fell across Aroostook County by Saturday afternoon as part of a snowstorm that gave the state’s winter recreation industries a major shot in the arm, the National Weather Service reported.

By 2 p.m. Saturday the storm had pretty much exhausted itself except for some isolated snow squalls and showers, with Fort Kent reporting 19½ inches and Madawaska 19 inches of accumulation, said Mark Bloomer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Caribou.

“It is pretty much over,” Bloomer said Saturday. “There are some isolated snow squalls and showers behind the storm — a couple of isolated snow showers and flurries in the northern Penobscot and southern Aroostook areas, but it is mostly just patchy flurries.”

Though accumulations of 5 to 8 inches of snow fell across an area from Bangor to Levant in Penobscot County, 10 inches in Sebec in Piscataquis County and 12 inches in Somerset County’s St. Aurelie, the storm hit the County the hardest.

National Weather Service observers in Fort Kent, St. Francis and Eagle Lake reported 17 inches of snowfall. Presque Isle, Fort Fairfield, Limestone, Caribou and Portage reported 13½ to 13 inches, and Island Falls, Orient and Sherman reported 8 to 9 inches.

The heaviest snowfall came after midnight and had tapered off considerably after 6 a.m.

Surprisingly, no storm-related accidents or incidents were reported in Aroostook or Penobscot counties from midnight to Saturday afternoon.

“That’s the surprising thing. Never had one report of an accident or anything,” Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department dispatcher Kenneth Spittle said. “Can you believe that? It’s been very quiet, surprisingly.”

“It says that people were smart and all stayed off the roads,” Penobscot Regional Communications Center dispatcher David King said.

Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department dispatchers reported cars sliding off roads in Dover-Foxcroft, Parkland and Shirley on Saturday morning. No injuries were reported.

National Weather Service forecasts for northern Maine call for temperatures ranging from about 20 degrees Fahrenheit to the low 30s through Tuesday, with isolated gusts of winds whipping up the snow on Sunday and into Monday. Temperatures should fall close to zero degrees on Sunday night, Bloomer said.

This, Bloomer said, should bode well with winter recreationists who have struggled through a somewhat lean winter of sparse snowfalls followed by snow melts.

“We did have a good [snow] pack for a while but it got kind of worn down. I think they will be happy with this storm,” Bloomer said.

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