February 8, 2013

Forecaster says: 'It's going to be tough'

Mainers prepare for what could be the biggest snowstorm to hit parts of the state since 1979.

By Gillian Graham ggraham@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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AccuWeather's forecast for snow accumulations.

Image courtesy of AccuWeather

click image to enlarge

For more detail, click to enlarge this image showing the storm system over New England at 8:15 a.m. Friday. A blizzard of potentially historic proportions threatens to strike the Northeast with a vengeance on Friday with 1 to 2 feet of snow feared along the densely populated Interstate 95 corridor from the New York City area to Maine.

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TO VIEW an up-to-the-minute animated radar map of the snowstorm, click here.

A secondary runway will be closed so crews can focus on keeping the primary runway clear, he said.

"Snow for Portland is a way of life in the winter," he said. "But when we start to hit 2 and 3 inches per hour, we can't stay ahead of it."

Bradbury said the airport could close -- something he said happens "rarely to never" -- but only if crews can't keep up with the snow.

Travelers should expect flights to be delayed and canceled starting Friday, he said. All airlines that fly out of Portland have announced that they will waive fees for people who want to change their flights.

Stores in southern Maine experienced a run on bottled water, batteries and other supplies Thursday.

"It's been really busy all day in all the stores," said Hannaford spokesman Eric Blom. "We brought in extra inventory of water and batteries. Those are definitely popular items when a storm is anticipated."

At Oak Hill Ace Hardware in Scarborough, customers stocked up on firewood, coal and lamp oil, said store manager Nate Johnson.

He said he sold "a couple shovels here and there." But, with the storm coming on the weekend, people seemed less concerned about shoveling out than hunkering down.

"People seem to be getting ready for being stuck inside," he said. "It will be amusing if it all doesn't happen."

Winter recreation enthusiasts couldn't wait for the storm to arrive.

Matt Sabasteanski, outdoor recreation director at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, said he is looking forward to spending the next few days outdoors, even if that means grooming cross-country ski trails around the clock.

Sabasteanski and his crew spent the last two weeks making snow for a veterans appreciation event that originally was scheduled for Saturday, only to find themselves developing a game plan for keeping nearly 30 kilometers of ski trails groomed in the midst of a possible blizzard. The veterans event will be held Sunday.

"Now that we've put all that money and effort into manmade snow, it's going to come out of the sky for a change," Sabasteanski said. "It will be beautiful here on Saturday and especially on Sunday. Come out and play."

In York County, members of the Ossipee Mountaineers Snowmobile Club are gearing up to groom trails and enjoy snow close to home, said club president Chrissy McGinley.

Club members will be out Friday and Saturday grooming trails across Waterboro.

McGinley cautioned riders in the area to avoid Ossipee Lake, which she said is not completely frozen.

"We're getting excited because now we don't have to chase the snow," McGinley said. "We get to hop right onto the trails and go."

At the One Longfellow Square concert venue in Portland, a Friday night concert featuring the Quebecois folk quartet La Vent Du Nord (The North Wind in French) was still on.

"You book a hardy Canadian band, you have to expect them to play no matter what," said Longfellow's executive director Kippy Rudi.

Rudi said anyone who arrives early to the concert and needs lodging will be eligible to receive a 10 percent discount at one of five participating bed-and-breakfasts.

"We're trying to make this an adventure," she said.

-- Staff Writer Dennis Hoey contributed to this report.

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:


Twitter: grahamgillian


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Additional Photos

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South Portland Public Works Dept. is busy preparing for the snowstorm..

John Patriquin / Staff Photographer


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Today's poll: Storm response

Are you taking precautions for today’s impending snowstorm, or do you think it’s overhyped?

Taking precautions


View Results



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