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Thanksgiving storm affects flights, prompts warnings

The season's first accumulating snowfall caught most motorists by surprise Tuesday while greasing local highways and byways, such as Main Road North in Hampden.
Brian Swartz | BDN
The season's first accumulating snowfall caught most motorists by surprise Tuesday while greasing local highways and byways, such as Main Road North in Hampden.
Posted Nov. 27, 2013, at 9:04 a.m.
Last modified Nov. 27, 2013, at 7:36 p.m.

GRAY, Maine — Whipping winds, driving rain and snow throughout the state have prompted multiple weather advisories and delayed and canceled flights.

Bangor International Airport reported Wednesday morning that two inbound flights have been canceled, a 12:30 p.m. Delta departure from LaGuardia Airport in New York and a 3 p.m. U.S. Airways flight from Philadelphia, according to Airport Marketing Director Risteen Bahr.

In addition, BIA’s 3:25 p.m. flight to Philadelphia has been canceled, Bahr said, while two other U.S. Airways flights to Philadelphia have been delayed. Travelers are advised to check with their airline before heading to the airport.

In Portland, only two delays — Delta’s 5:40 a.m. flight to LaGuardia and U.S. Airways’ 11:25 a.m. flight to Philadelphia — were reported.

Bahr said LaGuardia and Philadelphia are both experiencing heavy delays due to weather conditions.

Wednesday’s wild weather also affected those traveling by water. Ferry service to and from Rockland and North Haven and the Swans Island Ferry service in Bass Harbor were canceled Wednesday afternoon due to weather conditions, according to the Maine Department of Transportation.

The DOT also reported more than half a dozen road closures — including Route 9 in Unity — caused by flooding, downed trees and power lines or debris in the roadway. Route 9 reopened to traffic about 6 p.m.

As the storm continues to wreak havoc on the final day of Thanksgiving travel, flood watches and winter weather advisories are in effect throughout the state.

The flood watch is in effect through Wednesday afternoon and includes Androscoggin, central Somerset, Cumberland, Waldo, York, Lincoln, Kennebec, Franklin, Oxford and Sagadahoc counties, according to the National Weather Service’s Gray office.

Northern parts of the state are expected to see a mix of freezing rain and snow, and a winter weather advisory is in effect through Wednesday for northwest Aroostook, northeast Penobscot and Somerset counties.

High winds gusting between 30 and 45 mph could blow debris across roadways throughout the state, so motorists are advised to allow plenty of time to arrive at destinations. Power outages are likely as well.

As of 4:30 p.m., Central Maine Power reported more than 2,400 outages across the state, with the bulk of them in Knox County, where 867 homes were without electricity. By early evening, the total had dropped to about 1,403, but Knox County remained hard hit, with 895 customers without electricity.

Bangor Hydro reported more than 4,100 customers in the dark, most of them in Hancock and Washington counties, the company said in a statement released late Wednesday afternoon. The number of affected customers had dropped to less than 2,000 by 7 p.m. but the utilities live outage map indicated that power would not be restored in some areas until Thursday morning.

Customers are urged to stay away from downed power lines.

Bangor Daily News writer Dawn Gagnon contributed to this report.

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