CARIBOU, Maine — Rapidly deteriorating road conditions in Aroostook County have led to multiple vehicle crashes throughout the region and some closed roads, including a couple of sections of U.S. Route 1, according to the Aroostook County Emergency Management Agency.
Visibility is limited because of wind-blown snow, and the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office has urged people via social media not to travel unless necessary.
“Please stay put if you can,” police said. “Unnecessary travel puts you and also first responders at risk. If you absolutely need to be out, slow down and turn your headlights on.”
Aroostook County EMA also reported that roads are being closed throughout the day, and that as of 11 a.m. there were closures on Route 1 in Bridgewater and on Route 89 between Caribou and Limestone, as well as a section of Route 1 near Van Buren.
At roughly 7 a.m., the EMA reported that a multi-vehicle crash occurred between Presque Isle and Mars Hill. This afternoon, multiple-vehicle crashes were reported between Caribou and Presque Isle on Route 1, and in the Westfield area as well, among numerous others. Police said visibility was down to zero in some spots.
Weather-related closures include the Caribou City Office, all Caribou schools, the Limestone town office, Limestone Community School and Presque Isle (SAD 1) schools. All of the basketball games scheduled for Tuesday were postponed to Thursday as well.
Presque Isle Police Department warned people that they traveled at their own risk, and said the department would send a wrecker but police would not respond unless someone was injured — emphasizing that emergency vehicles, wreckers and public works vehicles such as plows were at the same risk in whiteouts as the traveling public.
Severe whiteout conditions can be found on Route 1 south of Presque Isle, and Centerline, Conant, Caribou, McBurnie and Marston roads in Presque Isle, police said.
South Main Street between Russ Street and the West Presque Isle Road was closed Tuesday evening due to hazardous weather conditions, Caribou Police Department said.
Due to the need to respond to multiple crashes around The County, the Aroostook County Emergency Management Agency and Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office were not immediately able to comment.