GRAY, Maine — Get those snowblowers fueled up and shovels ready.
A winter storm that dumped ice and snow throughout the South has slowly been churning its way northward, with light snow falling in York County around 9 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.
The snow reached the Bangor area around noon. The entire state is under a winter storm warning through Friday morning, though the warning remains in effect for northeastern parts of the state through 7 p.m.
The heaviest snow can be expected Thursday afternoon through Friday morning.
Most of the state can expect at least a foot of snow, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters said, however, that northern Aroostook, Somerset and Piscataquis counties could see as much as 18 inches of snow — and a trace of ice — by the time the storm winds down Friday evening.
Snowfall rates of 2 to 3 inches an hour were expected in heavier bands, the weather service cautioned.
By Thursday morning, the weather was already causing travel headaches at Maine’s major airports.
Bangor International Airport reported Thursday morning that all U.S. Airways and Delta departures have been canceled for the day.
Allegiant Air’s 3:45 p.m. departure to St. Petersburg, Fla., was scheduled for a normal departure Thursday morning.
Portland International Jetport reported numerous flight cancellations.
Travel conditions were tough for motorists, with snow causing vehicles to slide off the roadways and prompting state officials to lower the maximum speed limits on Interstate 95. Cyr Bus Lines cancelled service to northern Maine.
The storm also led to the cancellation of classes or early dismissal for numerous public schools and colleges, including the University of Maine, Husson University, Eastern Maine Community College and Kennebec Valley Community College. Several public libraries closed early and church services and bingo games around the state were canceled.
Information on when UMaine will reopen will be available by 6 a.m. Friday.
Gov. Paul LePage announced Thursday afternoon that state offices in York, Cumberland, Kennebec and Androscoggin counties closed at noon due to the weather. Offices in other counties remained open.
Portland announced a citywide parking ban Thursday morning from 10 p.m. Thursday through 6 a.m. Friday. Any vehicle left on city streets between those hours is subject to tow.
Bangor also imposed a parking ban for its Downtown Parking Management District, according to the city’s website. The ban is effective from 11 p.m. Thursday through 6 a.m. Friday. Vehicles left on the affected streets during the ban may be towed at the owner’s expense.
For a list of storm cancelations and delays, check our list of closings and cancellations at http://bangordailynews.com/closings/.