January 3

Storm brings extreme winds, bitter cold to Maine

And it’s only going to get worse as Maine endures a storm that combines close to a foot of snow, whipping winds and the harshest deep freeze in decades.

By Eric Russell erussell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

and Dennis Hoey dhoey@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Two of the dozens of slide-offs on southern Maine roads are seen here along the northbound lane of I-295 on the Portland/South Portland line Thursday.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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A vehicle sits upside down after spinning out of control on Interstate 295 in Portland during Thursday’s snowstorm. Numerous accidents were reported on Maine roads throughout the day because of bad driving conditions, but none was serious.

The Associated Press/Robert F. Bukaty

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Portland’s high temperature Thursday – just 12 degrees – set a record for the coldest high temperature ever on Jan. 2. The previous record was 13 degrees, set in 1968.

By 9 p.m. Thursday, the temperature in Portland was 5 degrees below zero. The lowest temperature ever for the date is 17 degrees below zero, in 1968. The lowest temperature recorded in Portland for any date is 39 below, on Feb. 16, 1943.

Caribou set a record for the date – 28 degrees below zero at 6:54 a.m. That broke the previous record of 20 degrees below zero, set in 1968.

For a list of the latest weather-related closings and cancellations, click here.

Gov. Paul LePage closed all state offices in Androscoggin, Cumberland, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Sagadahoc, Waldo and York counties as of 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

Speed limits on the Maine Turnpike and Interstate 295 were reduced to 45 mph, although that did little to prevent accidents, which were reported throughout the day. None was serious.

Maine State Police said a crash on I-295 northbound near Exit 11 slowed traffic during the morning commute. Crashes also were reported in Pownal, Bowdoin, Kennebunk and South Berwick.

Late Thursday night, Buxton police were investigating a head-on collision between two pickup trucks on Route 202 near Pease Road. Two people were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Police said the crash was caused by slippery roads.

The Portland jetport had nearly two dozen flight cancellations Thursday, said director Paul Bradbury, and those cancellations could affect travel well into Friday.

“The airport will be open, but it doesn’t mean there will be a lot of aircraft coming in and out,” he said.

Nationwide, more than 1,800 flights were grounded Thursday in advance of the storm.

The Boston area was expected to get a foot of snow by early Friday morning. Many flights were canceled Thursday at Logan International Airport, which was scheduled to close Thursday night.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:


Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:


Twitter: @PPHEricRussell

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Additional Photos

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A crash in Falmouth slowed drivers during Thursday morning’s commute on I-295.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

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Jeremy Kempton shovels snow on a sidewalk along Commercial Street in Portland on Thursday. More than a foot of snow was predicted for coastal areas.

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer


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