December 03, 2019
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Storm creates icy mess across much of Maine

A storm that moved into the state Monday evening brought with it a wintry mix that left roads slick throughout Tuesday.

A winter weather advisory was in effect until 6 p.m. Tuesday for much of the state, except the western mountains and Aroostook County, where a winter storm warning is in place, and the Down East coast, which will be largely spared, according to the National Weather Service.

Across Greater Bangor about 2-3 inches of snow fell Tuesday, according to snowfall totals released by the weather service’s Caribou office at 7 p.m. Bangor received about 3 inches of snow, making it the first time this season the Queen City has seen at least an inch of snow. The city on average sees its first inch of snow about Nov. 24, according to the weather service’s Caribou office.

Heaviest snow fell north of Bangor, where 4 inches fell in Lincoln and Danforth, 5 inches fell in Millinocket, 6 inches fell in Houlton, 7 inches fell in Greenville, 9 inches fell in Presque Isle, 10 inches fell in Caribou, 13 inches fell in Clayton Lake and Estcourt Station, and 14 inches fell in Fort Kent, Madawaska and Van Buren, according to snowfall totals released at 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, the immediate coast from Portland to Eastport saw little to no snow, with about an inch or less in most towns, the weather service reports.

The storm continued to pelt Bangor and other parts of the state toward the coast with a mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow, according to the weather service office in Caribou.

The already slick road conditions and snow Tuesday morning have prompted a number of school closures and delays. Lewiston’s superintendent of schools, Todd Finn, said Tuesday morning that the city’s schools would be closed due to icy roads. Bangor schools started at their regular times, Bangor Superintendent Betsy Webb said Tuesday morning. After-school activities in Bangor and Brewer were canceled. The University of Maine in Orono delayed classes until 9 a.m.

All state government offices opened at 11 a.m. due to hazardous road conditions, according to a spokesman for Gov. Janet Mills.

“Snow and slick roads will make for dangerous driving conditions during tomorrow morning’s commute,” the governor said in a statement. “I encourage everyone to drive cautiously to prevent accidents and to give our public safety officers and road maintenance crews room to operate as they work to keep our roads clear.”

The storm has resulted in little to no power outages. As of 2:20 p.m., Emera Maine reported only 105 outages, mostly in Bangor and Old Town, while Central Maine Power reported about 330 outages across Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties.

The storm will be followed Wednesday night into Thursday morning by potentially record-breaking low temperatures, according to the weather service’s Caribou office.

In Greater Bangor, temperatures could reach a low of 9 degrees Fahrenheit. With the wind chill, it could feel like 4 degrees. Temperatures could reach a low of 8 degrees in Lincoln, 7 degrees in Millinocket and 2 degrees from Presque Isle to the Saint John Valley. The wind chill is expected to make it feel subzero from Houlton to the north, according to the weather service’s Caribou office.

The immediate coast from Portland to Eastport will be spared the worst of the low temperatures, with expected lows of 12 degrees in Portland, 13 degrees in Bar Harbor and 19 degrees in Eastport. But with the wind, it could feel closer to the single digits along parts of the coast, according to the weather service.

The weather service also released a Gale wind warning along the coast from 5:45 p.m. Tuesday until 1 p.m. Wednesday. Sea levels will increase 5 to 9 feet from Eastport to Stonington, and Stonington to Cape Elizabeth from 3 to 6 feet.

“A Gale Warning means winds of 34 to 47 knots are imminent or occurring. Operating a vessel in gale conditions requires experience and properly equipped vessels,” the weather service wrote. “It is highly recommended that mariners without the proper experience seek safe harbor prior to the onset of gale conditions.”

BDN writer Natalie Williams contributed to this report.

 



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