February 9, 2013

Storm turns bustling Portland into ghost town

By late Saturday morning, each street is plowed at least twice, but sidewalks may take a few more days.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

An unidentified person skis down the deserted streets of Portland between Planet Fitness and Walgreens on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013.

Photo by Kaylene Samuels

click image to enlarge

A man battles fierce winds as he climbs a hill after leaving his car in a parking lot to avoid being towed during a parking ban, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

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"This is the doozy," said Lord, a lifelong Portland resident. "I think this tops it all."

Donato Iannucci, a retired school teacher from Old Orchard Beach, was visiting Portland with family. On Saturday morning, he was out walking on Commercial Street, smiling and taking it all in.

"This is an annual trip we take. It's a pub crawl. We've done it for years," Iannucci said.

He said his family knew the storm was coming, but decided to make the trip anyway and stay in a hotel to keep the annual pub crawl tradition alive.

"It's the biggest (snowstorm) I've seen. I'm 61 years old. I remember the one in '78, and this seems bigger," Iannucci said.

Lori and Kent Laventure of Manchester, N.H., stopped on Moulton Street as they walked around the Old Port looking for a place to eat lunch and trying to find out whether the Nickelodeon movie theater would open.

"We had planned to come up for a pre-Valentine's getaway," Lori Laventure said.

The couple said they came up a night earlier than they had planned to avoid traveling in the snow and found a great rate at a bed and breakfast thanks to the storm.

"It would be better if something was open," Kent Laventure said. "You can only stay in the bed and breakfast so long."

Kirsten Thomsen of Portland said she and her husband walked to the waterfront Saturday morning to see high tide, boosted by a strong storm surge, around 10 a.m. and then stopped at the Portland Harbor Hotel on Fore Street for lunch.

"There are people at the hotel who are stuck, and they probably won't be able to fly out until Monday," Thomsen said.

Thomsen said she moved to Portland three years ago from Washington, D.C., which is crippled by storms much smaller than this.

"They do not know how to plow like people do in Maine," Thomsen said. "Here in Maine, people know what to do to get back to normal pretty quickly."

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

sdolan@mainetoday.com

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