FORT KENT, Maine — Aroostook County residents from Allagash to Presque Isle woke Monday morning to find large snowflakes falling fast, and sticking to the ground.
The National Weather Service issued northern Maine’s first winter weather advisory of the season as a result of the snowfall, which could reach up to 5 inches in areas of high terrain and 2 to 4 inches in lower lying areas.
“Some wind will be picking up behind it tonight,” NWS meteorologist Priscilla Buster said.
While snowflakes about three inches in diameter were being reported in Presque Isle, Mars Hill — located about 15 miles south — was experiencing rainfall.
Snow is a welcome sight to Mainers who enjoy snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross country and downhill skiing.
This is the case for Chad R. Pelletier, who is not only a winter outdoor enthusiast but also a working foreman and grader operator at Fort Kent Public Works Department.
From left (clockwise): Snow is coming down fast behind the Fort Kent Public Works Department on Monday; Chapman Road in Presque Isle during the first snowfall of the season on a Monday; Time to break out the scrapers. Snow falls on a car in Fort Kent on Monday. Credit: David DiMinno / The Star-Herald; Jessica Potila / St. John Valley Times
Pelletier said the department is ready for the winter weather.
“All the primary trucks are rigged up and ready to roll,” Pelletier said. “Now we’re servicing our snow trucks that we use to haul snow out of town, but they’re all ready if we would need them now.”
But, from a public works perspective, Pelletier said it would be ideal if not too much snow falls for the next few weeks.
“If we can get most of the month of November that would shorten up our season a lot. We’ve been fortunate to have a nice fall,” Pelletier said. “We’d like to see the ground freeze up before we have to go out and plow. That’s how property and our equipment get damaged — when the ground is soft.”
On the other hand Pelletier is looking forward to more snow because he has ordered a new snowmobile that could arrive in December.
“Also, I run the groomer for the Fort Kent Sno Riders [snowmobile club.] We’re getting geared up for another season, but we need more volunteers,” Pelletier said.
It’s hard to say how long this first real snowfall of the year will stick around.
With expected lows in the 20s Monday night, and Tuesday temperatures predicted to not rise above freezing, the snow could stay until Wednesday, Buster said.