December 28, 2012

Winter whooshes into Maine

By Matt Byrne
Staff Writer

and Scott Dolan
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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John Pitcher clears his own driveway and also helps out his neighbors along Vesper Street in Portland on Thursday.

John Patriquin / Staff Photographer

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Police in Wells closed Webhannett Drive between Mile Road and the Crescent Beach area after surging waves from the nor’easter pushed debris into the road. Snow fell for more than 16 hours in areas of southern Maine.

Courtesy Wells Police Department

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Police in York responded to a leaking underground propane tank at the 3 Buoys restaurant. The leak closed Route 1 from the York-Kittery town line to South Side Road for several hours while utility crews worked on repairs.

It was unclear if the snowstorm contributed to the cause of the leak.

On India Street in Portland, a snow plow ruptured a gas line, which briefly drew fire crews and maintenance workers from Unitil.

Unitil spokesman Alec O'Meara said there was no threat to the public, and the gas line would be repaired.

The Portland Pirates postponed their game against the Providence Bruins that was scheduled for Thursday at the Cumberland County Civic Center. The game was rescheduled for Jan. 2.

With the driving snow, many residents chose to stay home. But a few, like Frederica Jackson, took the opportunity to romp in the winter weather before catching a meal and a movie downtown.

The powdery snow was welcome to Jackson, who was disappointed by last year's paltry snow totals. "I like the old-fashioned snowstorms," she said.

Eric Richardson, a manager at Nickelodeon Cinemas on Temple Street, arrived at work long before show time and found a crowd already gathered outside.

Richardson, a Rhode Island native who has lived in Portland for years, was ready for the weather, with a hat and a scarf, though recent winters haven't created a need for a lot of cold-weather gear.

"Interestingly, when I moved up here in 2008, we had a serious storm. Then we didn't have much since," Richardson said.

That winter, from December 2008 through February 2009, brought 70.5 inches of snow to Portland, 23.6 inches above average, National Weather Service records show.

The winter of 2007-08 trumped that amount, with 90.7 inches of snowfall, making it the fifth-snowiest winter on record in Portland.

At least a trace of snow fell on 44 winter days, and once Portland accumulated 8.5 inches of snow, on Dec. 3, 2007, the city had snow cover for the rest of the season, according to the weather service.

Aside from those two snowy winters, Portland winters have alternated between mild seasons with light snowfall to winters with heavier snow.

The winter of 2009-10 was mild, with an average temperature of 28.4 degrees, the sixth-warmest on record, and 37 inches of snow.

The winter of 2010-11 was colder, with more snow. The average temperature was 24.8 degrees, and Portland received 69.2 inches of snow.

Last winter, from December 2011 to February 2012, the average temperature was 30.3 degrees, the second-warmest winter ever recorded in Portland.

Staff Writer Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

Staff Writer Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

Note: This article was updated at 9:52 a.m. on Friday, December 28, 2012 to change the number of people who lost power and to correct the spelling of Frederica Jackson.

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Additional Photos

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Christopher Geer, a sous chef at Vignola Cinque Terre, watches as snow falls Thursday at Dana and Wharf streets in Portland. Geer said the restaurant would be closing for the night Thursday because of the storm.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

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Jason Eisenhuth of Portland demonstrates his "no hands" sledding ability at Portland's East End on Thursday. A winter storm dumped about a foot of snow on southern Maine, closing state offices, making roads slick and canceling many flights at the Portland International Jetport.

Derek Davis / Staff Photographer

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Dooney shakes off the flakes while strolling with his people on Dana Street in Portland.

Derek Davis / Staff Photographer

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