Winter weather advisory issued as storm inches closer

Posted Nov. 26, 2013, at 11 a.m.
Last modified Nov. 27, 2013, at 9:08 a.m.

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GRAY, Maine — As a Thanksgiving storm continues to churn up the East Coast, the National Weather Service’s Gray office has issued a winter weather advisory.

According to the weather service’s website, advisories have been posted for Franklin and Somerset counties.

The advisories will last 7 p.m. Tuesday to 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The storm, which is drenching the mid-Atlantic states with soaking rain, is expected to bring a wintry mix into northern New England, which may affect holiday travel plans for some.

In New York City, high winds could ground the giant character balloons in the Macy’s Inc. Thanksgiving Day Parade. City regulations bar the huge balloons from flying when sustained winds top 23 mph and gusts exceed 34 mph.

Snow, sleet and freezing rain, along with high winds, are expected in New England. Snow is expected to fall over the course of the evening and change to sleet and freezing rain during the day on Wednesday.

Central Maine Power was gearing up for the storm, reporting fully fueled and equipped trucks ready to hit the road.

“We’ve put our storm response plan into motion, and we’re watching the forecast closely,” said CMP spokeswoman Gail Rice. “High winds are always a concern, and the heavy rains forecast for Wednesday could saturate the ground around trees. We expect high winds and tough working conditions, so we’re getting crews, equipment, and materials in place to respond.”

If outages occur, customers should contact CMP’s toll-free hotline at 800-696-1000.

Early morning flurries on Tuesday contributed to a few slide-offs along the Maine Turnpike, according to the Maine Turnpike Authority, but no major crashes were reported.

Speed limits were reduced along the turnpike throughout the morning.

Around 8:30 a.m. in Limington in York County, slippery roads caused a MSAD 6 bus to slide off Staples Road near the Route 11 intersection.

The bus, driven by Mitzii Smith, 38, of Limington, skidded partially into a ditch but was not damaged, according to Chief Deputy William King of the York County Sheriff’s Office. None of the 35 elementary school students on board were injured.

Another school bus brought the pupils to school safely.

Reuters contributed to this report.