Chris Glanville reads a book under an umbrella during the first snowstorm of the year on Commercial Street in Portland on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. Granville reads, and sometimes sells books, most days, in all kinds of weather, on the same block. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The first significant nor’easter of the winter blew into Maine Friday morning, dropping several inches of snow along the coast and forcing many Mainers to stay home for the day.

A cyclist makes their was through Portland on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, during the first snowstorm of the year. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

A blizzard warning remained in effect Friday night along the immediate coast of Washington County, meaning communities there still could get 3 or more hours of sustained winds or frequent gusts of at least 35 mph, and visibility of a quarter mile or less. Snow totals between 9 and 12 inches and wind gusts up to 45 mph were forecast between Cherryfield and Eastport.

Preliminary snowfall totals compiled after 5 p.m. by the National Weather Service showed Machiasport as getting the most at 13 inches. Many other towns along the Washington County coast and in western Hancock County got between 8 and 10 inches, but depths were smaller just a few towns to the north and east.

Clockwise, from left: A pedestrian crosses Pear Street in Portland on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, during the first snowstorm of the year. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN; The streets of downtown Rockland were largely empty Friday as a snow storm swept over the coast of Maine. Credit: Lauren Abbate / BDN; Steve Lacount shovels snow, double-masked and in a T-shirt, near Portland’s Monument Square on Friday morning, Jan. 7, 2022. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Midcoast Maine got between 2 and 4 inches, while along the southern Maine and New Hampshire coasts snowfall ranged between 5 and 7 inches. Towns further inland in both states got lesser amounts. 

Lisa Hanscom, Washington County’s emergency management director, said Friday morning her agency had been keeping towns informed about what to expect. She said that she was expecting power outages. By early Friday evening, however, her fears appeared to have been unfounded.

The state closed its offices in Washington County shortly after noon Friday because of the risk of driving in the snow.

Clockwise, from left: The bronze sculpture of a Native American playing lacrosse outside the Jud Hartmann Gallery in Blue Hill gathers snow in Friday’s storm. Credit: Ethan Genter / BDN; The streets of downtown Rockland were largely empty Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, as a snow storm swept over the coast of Maine. Credit: Lauren Abbate / BDN; Snow continues to fall on Friday afternoon, Jan. 7, 2022, in Blue Hill, Maine as two people make their way to Pleasant Street. Credit: Ethan Genter / BDN

Versant reported late Friday afternoon that it had five power outages affecting less than 70 customers in eastern Hancock County and Washington County. Central Maine Power reported 5 outages total in Androscoggin and Waldo counties.

Snow started falling overnight in southern Maine and arrived along the eastern coast around dawn. Traffic was light along major roads during the usual morning rush hour as dozens of schools, government buildings and businesses throughout the state opted not to open Friday.

The weather warnings and advisories are expected to remain in effect until 1 a.m. Saturday.


Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....