PORTLAND– City officials have declared the first parking ban of the winter season. The on-street parking limits take effect at 10 p.m. Thursday night and ends at 6 a.m. Friday, according to a statement from the city.
Free off-street parking is available at several city-owned lots in Portland. Vehicles may be parked there after 5 p.m. and must be moved Friday before 7 a.m., the city said.
Cars left on the street during the ban will be ticked, towed, and impounded at the Ocean Gateway Marine Terminal on Commercial Street, at a cost of $135, plus any outstanding tickets on file against the vehicle. Vehicles not claimed after 24 hours will be assessed a $25 storage fee per day.
Officials in Westbrook also ordered a parking ban, saying cars should be off city streets starting at 9 p.m. Thursday night through 7 a.m. Friday.
The National Weather Service is predicting heavy snow accumulation Thursday. The deepest snowfall will likely be west of the turnpike, where 12 inches to 18 inches could fall before the storm passes.
East of the roadway in coastal regions and in downtown Portland, accumulation is expected closer to 9 inches. The weather service noted that totals will likely vary widely as the rain-snow line hovers in the Portland area.
All state government offices are closed on Thursday, but are expected to open on schedule on Friday.
City Manager Mark Rees announced that Portland City Hall will be closed Thursday due to inclement weather. City Hall offices will resume regular business hours Friday.
The Portland Pirates’ American Hockey League game scheduled for the Cumberland County Civic Center was postponed to Wednesday, Jan. 2.
Parking bans are also in place in the following communities:
• Sanford/Springvale: 11 p.m. Wednesday until 11 a.m. Friday.
• Windham: 11 p.m. Wednesday until 7 p.m. Friday.
• Old Orchard Beach: 10 p.m. Wednesday until noon Friday.
• Gorham: midnight Wednesday until 6 a.m. Friday.
• Scarborough: midnight Wednesday until 6 a.m. Friday.