Winter finally made its presence felt in Maine on Monday with the second storm in four days dropping wet, heavy snow along the coast and more than a foot in many interior areas, closing schools and offices, causing dozens of car crashes and leaving tens of thousands in York County without power.

The storm, which began Sunday night, packed wind gusts that reached 64 mph at the Portland International Jetport, according to the National Weather Service in Gray. More than a dozen flights were delayed or canceled at the jetport on Monday.

Snow was falling at roughly an inch per hour at times Monday afternoon, leading to poor visibility and difficult driving during the evening commute. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for much of the state that was in effect until 10 p.m. Monday. A gale warning was issued through 6 a.m. Tuesday, with north winds of 20 to 30 knots with gusts of 40 knots and seas of 6 to 9 feet predicted.

Jax Brewer, 7, of Portland catches air off a snow ramp at Payson Park on Monday. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

The storm made travel difficult throughout the day, particularly along the Interstate 95 corridor, the weather service said.

Snowfall totals reported to the weather service as of 8:45 p.m. Monday included 17 inches in Pittsfield, 16 inches in Durham, 15.5 inches in New Gloucester, 15 inches in Lewiston, 15 inches in Gray, 14.3 inches in Cumberland, 11.9 inches in Gorham and 11.4 inches in Augusta. Portland reported 9.1 inches at the jetport, Brunswick 10.5 inches, Bridgton 12 inches and Limerick 16.3 inches. Accumulations were lower along the coast, with Old Orchard Beach 8.6 inches and Cape Elizabeth 7 inches.

Stephen Baron, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, said most of York County, especially the coastal areas, saw a mix of snow and rain that produced heavy snow that weighed down trees and branches.


“Areas along the coast got some really, sloppy stuff,” Baron said.

After Monday’s storm clears out, Mainers won’t get much of a reprieve. Another storm system is expected to move into the area Wednesday night into Thursday. That system has the potential to bring significant amounts of both rain and snow, along with gusty winds, the weather service said.

As of 7:15 a.m. Tuesday, 36,062 Central Maine Power Company customers had lost power with all but 48 of them in York County. Wells, Kennebunkport, Old Orchard Beach, Saco and Kennebunk are among the hardest hit communities.


Nearly the entire town of Wells remained without power Tuesday morning, with 7,064 outages out of 10,668 customers without power, according to CMP’s outage website. Due to the widespread outages and roadways blocked with downed trees, the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District announced Monday night that all classes have been canceled for Tuesday as well.

“York County has been significantly impacted by the long duration of today’s storm, with downed trees and blocked roads throughout the area,” CMP tweeted Monday night. The utility company said it deployed 171 line and vegetation crews in York County to ensure that downed power lines are safe, and it said crews are coordinating restoration efforts with towns to clear blocked roads and fallen trees.


“Given the lingering impacts of today’s storm, we expect power restoration will continue through the night and through the day on Tuesday. We are actively repositioning approximately 140 crews from other parts of the state to support this work,” CMP said.

The York Fire Department announced on its Facebook page that the fire station will remain open throughout the night as a warming center.

Portland Jetport Director Paul Bradbury told News Center Maine that an American Airlines flight out of Philadelphia slid off the runway after it landed Monday. Bradbury said the jet’s nose gear slipped off the pavement forcing the jetport to shut down the primary runway. No one was injured.

Maine State Police troopers responded to 64 crashes and slide-offs on the Maine Turnpike between the start of the storm and early Monday afternoon. People were driving too fast for the conditions, state police said.

“The majority of drivers are going too fast for road conditions and losing control, hitting guardrails or landing in the median or ditch,” state police said in a tweet.

The Maine Turnpike Authority lowered the speed limit on the turnpike to 45 mph around 8 p.m. Sunday due to snowy conditions.


The Maine Emergency Management Agency urged people to avoid traveling, as the snow made travel difficult throughout the day and into the evening.

“I urge Maine people to avoid driving during the storm, if possible. If you must drive, give yourself extra time and give our plow drivers and emergency first responders plenty of room as they work to keep us safe,” Gov. Janet Mills said in a statement Sunday night.

In South Berwick, the fire department asked people to stay home on Monday because a mix of rain, ice and snow created very slippery conditions.

“The winter storm currently hitting town has caused many roadways to be blocked by downed trees and power lines. Please stay off the roads!” fire department officials posted on Facebook. “There are too many blocked and/or obstructed roads to list, and the list grows as the storm is evolving.”

Kirk Moran of Saco shovels a sidewalk on Silver Street on Monday morning. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Much of Maine received the first significant snowfall of the winter on Friday. Cold temperatures over the weekend prevented melting and left tree branches heavy with snow, further raising the risk of power outages on Monday.

CMP secured extra storm response crews to restore power, CMP spokesman Jon Breed said Sunday in a prepared statement that warned of the potential for outages because of the wet snow and strong winds.


The Amtrak Downeaster was forced to cancel several trips on Monday because of trees across the tracks in Wells. The impacted trips include southbound trains 680, 682 and 684 and northbound trains 681, 683 and 685.

Isaac Romero winds up to throw a snowball at his sister Rosa Romero on Monday at Payson Park. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Greater Portland Metro buses operated, but travel was slow because of the weather. Travelers should leave extra time for their trips, Metro said.

Most school districts across southern Maine that had snow days on Friday closed again on Monday, giving students and staff a surprise four-day weekend.

Mills announced Sunday that all state offices would be closed Monday. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court and Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland also closed due to the storm.

Portland declared a citywide parking ban from 10 p.m. Monday through 6 a.m. Tuesday. Other towns with parking bans include Freeport, Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Gorham, Saco and Old Orchard Beach.


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