Maine communities see half a foot of snow or more in midweek storm

A man walks across an intersection in Bangor on Wednesday afternoon in the falling snow.
A man walks across an intersection in Bangor on Wednesday afternoon in the falling snow. Buy Photo
Posted Feb. 05, 2014, at 8:15 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 05, 2014, at 9:10 p.m.
Hayford Park on Union Street in Bangor was busy with kids and adults sledding Wednesday afternoon.
Hayford Park on Union Street in Bangor was busy with kids and adults sledding Wednesday afternoon. Buy Photo
With sidewalks not yet shoveled or plowed, pedestrians take to walking in the streets around Bangor.
Linda Coan O'Kresik
With sidewalks not yet shoveled or plowed, pedestrians take to walking in the streets around Bangor. Buy Photo
Parking ban signs are out in downtown Bangor for Wednesday night.
Linda Coan O'Kresik
Parking ban signs are out in downtown Bangor for Wednesday night. Buy Photo

BANGOR, Maine — Schools and offices in much of Maine were closed Wednesday as a storm blanketed southern and coastal Maine with snowfall that was predicted to amount to as much as a foot.

A winter storm warning was in effect for much of Maine until 10 p.m. Wednesday because of the storm, which walloped the Midwest and is set to hit York County and southern New Hampshire with 8-12 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

Much of the state, including the coast from Portland to Belfast and inland from Oxford County to Pittsfield, was expected to get 5-10 inches of snow Wednesday.

The Bangor area, Hancock County and Down East expected to see 8 inches or less, according to the weather service, and the Katahdin region and north were expected to see light snow or no snow at all.

According to the weather service’s offices — located in in Gray and Caribou — York, Cumberland and Androscoggin counties got the highest snow totals as of 9 p.m. By that time, Hollis, Kennebunk, Portland and Standish had roughly 9 inches while Lewiston, Gray, Otisfield, Durham and Cumberland had half a foot or more.

Also receiving about half a foot of snow or more were Southwest Harbor, Bar Harbor, Bangor, Hermon, Dover-Foxcroft, Kingbry and Topsfield. Aroostook County received a relative dusting, with about an inch.

The storm shut down dozens of school districts statewide, along with many municipal offices. The University of Maine campus closed at 2 p.m., and state offices in nine southern and coastal counties closed at noon, according to a news release from Gov. Paul LePage.

Heavy snowfall made for difficult travel conditions and resulted in numerous accidents, including one on Interstate 95 involving a collision between a tractor-trailer and a Prius during the busy morning commute.

The accident happened at 7:45 a.m., when Nancy Kravit, 64, of Bangor was heading northbound and lost control of her car just north of the Stillwater Avenue exit, Trooper Josh D’Angelo of the Maine State Police said.

Kravit’s Prius then was struck on the passenger side by an 18-wheeler driven by Chad Morrison, 36, of Clinton. Morrison’s rig subsequently skidded into the median, D’Angelo said.

The accident prompted police to shut down the interstate for about a half-hour.

Kravit’s vehicle was totaled and she was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center for treatment of a head injury, the trooper said. Information about her medical condition was not available Wednesday evening.

Morrison, whose rig is owned by Ferreira Brothers Trucking out of Unity, was not hurt.

The maximum speed on parts of I-95 Wednesday morning was 40 mph due to hazardous travel conditions created by the weather.

Heavy snow on the Maine Turnpike and Interstate 295 reduced the speed limit to to 45 mph, and Portland International Jetport reported a number of canceled flights. Bangor International Airport only canceled one outbound flight on Wednesday, while one arriving flight was canceled as well.

Portland issued a citywide parking ban from 10 p.m. Wednesday through 6 a.m. Thursday. Bangor issued a downtown parking ban from 11 p.m. Wednesday through 6 a.m. Thursday.

In Waldo County, where the fast-falling flakes changed the color of the landscape from dismal brown to clean white over the course of the morning, teachers and students relished their first snow day in several weeks.

Matt and Rachel Littlefield of Waldo both teach at the Waldo County Technical Center. Matt Littlefield said Wednesday that he, his wife and their two elementary school-age children all have been sick in the last few weeks, so they were glad to have an extra day to rest and get better.

“This one I was looking forward to,” he said of the snow day. “It’s a day where I can still be in my pajamas and not do much of anything.”

Bangor Daily News reporters Ryan McLaughlin, Tony Reaves and Abigail Curtis contributed to this report.

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