The blizzard sweeping across the state over the next 24 hours will drop over a foot of snow across much of Maine, with high winds creating whiteout conditions. It will mark the second time since October that a “bomb cyclone” — when sudden winds accelerate in force over a 24-hour period — to hit Maine.
Our staff across the state will bring you the latest updates on the wintry bomb cyclone along with reactions and comments from Mainers across the state. So set up in a comfy chair and stay inside with a hot cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate while the storm rages outside.
In these conditions, the numbers will fluctuate. Two circuits in Lincoln County went out and were restored. A large circuit in Kennebec County just went out, so the numbers are up again. Crews are working to keep up with these outages.
— Central Maine Power (@cmpco) January 4, 2018
Emera Maine shows less than 400 customers affected by the storm. Click here for the live outage map.
#GOESEast captured the full path of the #BombCyclone exhibiting a rare and extremely rapid rate of intensification on the East Coast with some of the coldest wind chills of the season and near zero visibility in the snow bands @NWS. #Blizzard2018 More: https://t.co/mbgRYot60A pic.twitter.com/GKlFTaLJBI
— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) January 4, 2018
Want to make ice cream out of all that snow that just fell on your property?
The BDN’s Emily Burnham has you covered.
Scheduled trash pick-up that didn’t happen today in Bangor will happen tomorrow morning
Message from Bangor Public Works:
“Storm conditions today with zero visibility created unsafe conditions for workers on the rubbish trucks, so rubbish may not have been collected in some areas. It will be collected tomorrow morning. Please have rubbish placed curbside by 6am. Thanks for your patience.”
#UPDATE I just got off the phone with a MEMA Representative. She tells me their number one concern is coastal flooding and people driving down flooded roadways.
They say it hasn’t come to this yet… but they may be looking at evacuation in some areas if flooding continues.
— Alexa Maslowski (@AlexaWGME) January 4, 2018
Lisbon Falls with a foot and Falmouth with 9.6"
— Jessica Conley (@MeteoroloJess) January 4, 2018
Some schools in Maine are already starting to announce cancellations tomorrow as well.
Portland public schools are cancelled for tomorrow Friday 1/5 due to blizzard conditions
— Jennifer Long (@JenniferWGME) January 4, 2018
Night falls on a frozen Thomas Bay in Bar Harbor. Photo by Julia Walker Thomas
A post shared by Maine State Police (@mainestatepolice) on
A view down 4th Street in Bangor
A post shared by Clare Davitt (@claritybear) on
A post shared by Sarah Smiley (@sarahsmiley) on
A post shared by yeahpaddle (@yeahpaddle) on
Broadway Park in Bangor is quiet as darkness starts to settle in. Today’s snowstorm is forecast to continue deep into the night. (BDN photo by Callie Ferguson)
Not everyone in Maine hunkered down inside during Thursday’s blizzard conditions. Brave souls Gwynne Gallagher (in pink) and Amanda Chisholm took to Portland’s Eastern Prom to take advantage of the fresh snow for some sledding. (BDN photos by Troy R. Bennett)
Portlanders make their way through a flooded end of Somerset Street today during blizzard conditions in the city. Flooding obstructed many roads in coastal Maine communities while snowfall totals approached a foot in some places by mid-afternoon. (BDN photos by Troy R. Bennett)
Hollis now with 10.0" of snow. Yarmouth at 7.4". Gray at 8.0".
— Jessica Conley (@MeteoroloJess) January 4, 2018
A post shared by Chicago Dogs Of Maine (@chicago_dogs_of_maine) on
Wintry conditions didn’t stop the Patriots from their Thursday morning practice.
The National Weather Service’s Gray office has posted the latest snowfall totals from a variety of observers. The York County town of Hollis has gotten the most so far, with 9 inches.
Meanwhile, the winds are whipping in Portland.
This Youtube video, posted by Untamed Mainer, may be the first-ever documented use of a Maine Dept. of Transportation plow truck to clear storm-surge tossed seaweed from a Maine highway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-kCCoO5ws4&feature=youtu.be
A woman walks a dog on the Eastern prom in Portland on Thursday. Mainers are bracing themselves as a blizzard blows through the state. Photo by Troy Bennett | BDN
A post shared by mysteryjig (@mysteryjig) on
It’s extremely hard to see lanes on the highways. Stay in, if you can!
— Brooke Rayford (@BrookeRWGME) January 4, 2018
The view from Ellsworth City Hall:
Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick will remain closed on Friday and possibly through the weekend after a sprinkler pipe burst Wednesday at about 5:30 p.m. Firefighters from three communities responded to clean up the water, but the several computers, books, rugs and sheetrock may need to be replaced, according to the library’s development and marketing coordinator, Joyce Schmitt.
Due to the storm, the Rockland Breakwater will be closed until further notice, according to the Rockland Fire Department.
Foot and vehicle traffic is prohibited from the Marie H. Reed Breakwater and the Breakwater itself located at the end of the Samoset Road.
“Although often spectacular along the coast, wave action during and after a storm is highly unpredictable and can place one in a dangerous situation,” Rockland Fire Chief Chris Whytock said in a news release Thursday.
Popham Beach State Park and Fort Popham are “essentially an island,” Phippsburg Police Chief John Skroski said early Thursday afternoon. Skroski headed towards the state park on his way to an alarm call when “swift water” rushing across the road stopped him. A town plow truck made it across the water and reported back that “the whole area” near the fort, as well as a couple of cottages, seemed to be flooded.
Bangor police Sgt. Wade Betters said Thursday afternoon that a parking ban is in effect in downtown Bangor from 11 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Friday.
“Vehicles left on city streets or parking lots during the ban may be towed at the owner’s expense,” he said in a news release.
Bangor’s Community Connector bus service will cease at 2:15 p.m., according to the city of Bangor.
Capehart, Hammond Street, Hampden, Old Town, Brewer North, Mt. Hope and Center Street buses will make their last trip at 2:15 p.m. The Stillwater and Brewer South buses will make their last trip at 1:45pm. The Mall Hopper will make its last trip at 1:55 p.m.
@CityPortland is opening the Riverton Community Center from 6PM on 1/4 until 6:00AM 1/5, as a warming shelter for anyone who needs to come by & get warm, charge phones, etc. Call 207-874-8575 for info.
Please share w/neighbors, esp the elderly, & check on them during the storm! pic.twitter.com/ZOn2djqtQi
— Portland Library ME (@PortPublicLibME) January 4, 2018
Docks at Potts Harbor Lobster in Harpswell were 4-5 inches underwater at high tide Thursday, meaning “the boats are higher than the parking lot,” according to Sue Nelson, who works on the dock. “[Owner] Jim Merryman said he’s never seen it that high.”
What fails in extreme cold? Just about everything, according to this article from the Washington Post.
“Extreme cold causes most materials – such as plastic pipes and metal parts – to become less flexible and more brittle. If your Metro car has to single track around a cracked rail – like the one in D.C. Wednesday evening – you can impress your fellow passengers by blaming the dreaded ‘ductile to brittle transition.’
Water, on the other hand, swells when it freezes, forming a perfect pipe-breaking scenario, especially when the temperatures are cold enough to penetrate deep into the ground where the usually snug pipes are buried.
Chemical reactions, meanwhile, tend to slow in the cold, weakening car batteries. Oil becomes thicker and frozen metal parts shrink at different rates – think about aluminum pistons sitting in tight iron cylinders – making engines harder to budge for those already feeble batteries. Nothing is quite normal.”
Bangor’s Community Connector bus service will make its last trip at 2:15 p.m. on Thursday.
Bangor City Hall will be open as a warming station until 4:30 p.m., and the Parks and Recreation Department will be open until 9 p.m. The Bangor Police Department is open around the clock, and visitors can use the fire department by first calling ahead.
Wondering what these recent weather patterns will mean for the economy?
The fact that it came after the crucial holiday shopping season was largely already over helps limit the impact, according to Bloomberg.
And some businesses may see a boom in the bad weather. But if the cold temperatures drag on too long, all bets are off, analysts say.
Read the full story through the link below.
— Bangor Daily News (@bangordailynews) January 4, 2018
The Brunswick Planning Board meeting tonight has been rescheduled to Jan. 23.
— The Times Record (@MidcoastNews) January 4, 2018
UPDATE from Amtrak: Upon further discussions with railroad officials and the Boston Bruins game scheduled for tonight being postponed and a state of emergency issues in Massachusetts, The Amtrak Downeaster has cancelled trains 684, 685, 686, 687, 688, 689.
— Kim Block (@KimWGME) January 4, 2018
Authorities recommend staying off the roads today unless there’s an emergency. But if you’re within walking distance of downtown Brunswick and are hungry…
Yup we are open, waiting to serve you the best Pizzas in TOWN, and yes we do TAKE OUT !
— Scarlet Begonias (@scabeg) January 4, 2018
Wondering about the shape of the #blizzard? The powerful midlatitude #BombCyclone has several meso-vortices spinning within its center, #GOESEast ABI captured these images of the storm every minute today. #snowday See more #cool GOES imagery here: https://t.co/mbgRYot60A pic.twitter.com/Zzab51uurp
— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) January 4, 2018
The storm bearing down on Maine also hit the coastal Southeast with a rare blast of snow on Wednesday, leaving the heaviest snowfall states like Florida and Georgia have seen in three decades, the Associated Press reports.
Snow already is accumulating in southern Maine. CBS affiliate WGME reports 1.2 inches in Yarmouth and further north 1 inch in Mount Vernon.
— Amanda Jellig (@AmandaWGME) January 4, 2018
If you find yourself in need of shelter during the storm, the Maine Emergency Management Agency has a list of warming stations and shelters at the link below.
MEMA staff and partner agencies are fully engaged and monitoring as heavy snow followed by strong winds and extremely cold temperatures begin across the state. A conference call this morning identified ongoing concerns about travel, possible power outages and extremely cold temperatures. The State Emergency Operations Center will partially activate at noon today and most county Emergency Management Agencies are activated now.
“Blizzard conditions are expected to cause travel problems today into Friday morning,” MEMA Acting Director Peter Rogers said in a news release. “We’ve been planning the last few days with the key partners to ensure the safety of the people of Maine and address issues such as the cold temperatures and the high demand for heating fuel.
Those in danger of running out of heating fuel should contact their fuel company as soon as possible and be sure to clear a path to the fuel pipes and tank to expedite the delivery process. Lowering the temperature can help conserve fuel, but the temperature should not be set below 55 degrees to avoid pipes from freezing.
Don’t forget to never use a generator inside and follow manufacturer’s guidelines.
Get more tips and reminders about safe generator use from Emera Maine.
— Emera Maine (@emerame) January 4, 2018
According to the BDN’s Lauren Abbate, Rockland is implementing a citywide parking ban from 9 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday. The ban includes all city streets and public parking lots.
With the blizzard barreling down on Maine, U.S. Sen. Angus King reflects on the Ice Storm of 1998, which hit the state 20 years ago this month. King was governor at that time.
“Maine is a big small town, and over the next 24 to 48 hours we’re going to be digging out. But we’re going to be doing it together,” King said.
History does have a way of repeating itself; nearly 20 years after the Ice Storm, Maine is faced with another serious winter storm. To mark the anniversary, and remind the people of Maine about lessons learned, I wanted to share some reflections on how we face these events. pic.twitter.com/cN01BzPbZR
— Senator Angus King (@SenAngusKing) January 4, 2018
The additional foot or more of snow expected today likely be a boon for ticks.
As the BDN’s Aislinn Sarnacki reports, researchers in southern Maine say the recent bout of sub-zero temperatures didn’t kill off many ticks.
That’s because the ticks are hiding beneath fallen leaves and snow covering, providing them protection from the frigid air that drove many Mainers inside last week.
And this additional snow likely will provide an extra layer of protection.
Had there been no snow, it’d be a different story.
“If the ticks were completely exposed, these temperatures of zero or 5 below or 10 below would certainly be sufficient to kill a number of ticks,” said Griffin Dill, a coordinator for the tick identification program at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Pest Management Office.
So the ticks may ride the winter out beneath the snow, only to emerge in the springtime.
So much for a silver lining.
Read the full story here:
Bangor City Hall will close at noon today, but the building at 73 Harlow St. will remain open as a warming center until 4:30 p.m.
For more information about warming stations in Bangor, check the article below.
The Riverton Community Center in Portland will be open from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday to give people a place to go to warm up or charge phones, according to the city of Portland.
— City of Portland, ME (@CityPortland) January 4, 2018
Blizzard Warning has been extended to the west and south to include interior York county in Maine, as well as all of Rockingham and eastern Hillsborough counties in NH. Also, Hurricane Force Wind Warning for the outer waters has been extended to the south. pic.twitter.com/gb3GH1syGk
— NWS Gray (@NWSGray) January 4, 2018
All outgoing flights from Portland International Jetport have been canceled for the remainder of the day, with a handful of Friday departures canceled as well.
TRAVEL ADVISORY: All remaining Departures today have been cancelled by our airline partners. 7 of 35 departures tomorrow have been cancelled. Please check with your airline before heading to the Jetport.
— Portland Jetport (@portlandjetport) January 4, 2018
Colby College in Waterville will close at 11 a.m. and reopen tomorrow after the storm passes.
— Colby College (@ColbyCollege) January 4, 2018
The BDN’s Bill Trotter reports that today’s high-powered storm could cause significant flooding along the coast.
By noon, high winds could produce 13-foot swells along the coast in New Hampshire and southern Maine.
“Some low-lying causeways will have water beginning to approach the road with up to 1 foot of inundation,” National Weather Service forecasters wrote in an advisory. “A majority of roads will remain passable with only isolated closures.”
A coastal flood advisory also is in effect for Hancock and Washington counties, where less severe surges are expected.
All Maine government offices are closed today because of the blizzard. Likewise, all legislative offices and hearings are closed.
“Travel conditions are expected to be treacherous,” Gov. Paul LePage said in a statement. “I encourage Mainers to stay off the roads and avoid traveling unless it is an emergency.”
CBS affiliate WGME is already reporting whiteout conditions in southern Maine.
Already seeing whiteout conditions in Kennebunk on the @MaineTurnpike drivers we spoke to are anxious to get home and say "it's bad, stay home if you can" #WeatherAuthority @WGME pic.twitter.com/qiXh4Y3s5q
— Lexie O'Connor (@LexieWGME) January 4, 2018
So today is a good day to work from home, if you have the option, and to avoid the roads. Visibility is still good in downtown Bangor, but whiteout conditions are expected as the day progresses.
A city plow truck idles in front of Ocean Gateway terminal on the Portland waterfront, about an hour after snow started falling and winds picked up.
BDN photo by Beth Brogan
Get the latest closings, cancellations and delays here:
Many businesses will close their doors by noon today, with some expecting late openings on Friday.
Bangor area schools declared Thursday a snow day yesterday in advance of the storm.
— @BetsyMWebb (@BetsyMWebb) January 3, 2018
A light snow has started to fall in downtown Bangor. Portland ABC affiliate WMTW reports that wind and snow is picking up around Nubble Light in York, a preview of things to come.
— David Charns WMTW (@DavidWMTW) January 4, 2018
The Portland METRO will shut down its public bus service at 11 a.m. as the winter storm intensifies, according to Denise Beck, the marketing director for the agency.
She said in a news release that administrative offices at 114 Valley St. are closed for the day, while the METRO Pulse at Elm Street will close at 11 a.m.
The storm is expected to drop more than a foot of snow across much of the state, and high winds caused by a “bomb cyclone” will create whiteout conditions, making travel today particularly dangerous.
METRO plans to resume service Friday, Beck said.