CARIBOU, Maine — With a batch of freezing rain, sleet and snow expected to hit the state this weekend, the National Weather Service has issued winter weather watches and advisories for nearly all of Maine.
As of Friday afternoon, winter weather advisories had been issued for the state, except for the Downeast Coastal region, through Saturday morning. Winter storm watches have been issued for the entire state through Monday morning.
Nikki Becker, a forecaster at the weather service’s Gray office, said the weekend’s events will consist of a two-part storm, with potential for 1-3 inches of snow Friday and into Saturday south of Millinocket. Sleet and freezing rain are expected to arrive Saturday night.
North of Millinocket, 3-6 inches of snow was predicted for Friday into Saturday, with 8-12 inches predicted to fall Sunday. South of Millinocket, a wintery mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain was expected, meteorologist Corey Bogel of the National Weather Service in Caribou said Friday afternoon.
He said the Bangor area was predicted to get 1-3 inches of snow and 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of ice over the weekend.
“It’s going to be a one-two punch, Bogel said.
“There’s the potential of slippery roads and possibility for power outages,” Becker said.
Central Maine Power spokeswoman Gail Rice said her crews are more than prepared.
“We have told our people to be in on Sunday morning ready to roll with bags packed,” Rice said.
“We have been watching the forecast, we’ve been holding pre-storm planning sessions,” she said.
Rice said CMP could have up to 250 line workers on duty if problems persist during the storm. Bangor Hydro Electric Co. and Maine Public Service Co. spokeswoman Susan Faloon said the utility is prepared for the worst and will be keeping a close eye on the weather this weekend.
“Our crews may be working around the clock in what could be very bad weather conditions,” Faloon said. “We ask customers to stay clear of our trucks to avoid unnecessary safety risks.”
Bangor police late Friday urged residents to be prepared for power outages.
“To accommodate emergency crews, it is important to make sure your cars are parked off the road and away from trees or power lines, if possible,” Lt. Paul Edwards said in a press release. “Stay at home, and don’t drive unless it’s absolutely necessary. If you have travel plans, please check road conditions, airline flight information, bus schedules, etc., before traveling out and about.”
Edwards and power company officials reminded residents not to move or touch power lines.
The CMP’s outage hotline is 1-800-696-1000. Bangor Hydro’s outage number is 1-800-440-1111. Maine Public Service customers should call 877-655-4448.