Mainers are hunkering down for a nor’easter that will move through the state on Thursday.

State offices and many municipal offices will be closed with the potential for more than a foot of snow in some areas and widespread power outages. State and federal courts also will be closed.

The commission investigating the Lewiston mass shooting postponed a public hearing set for Thursday. A new date was not previously announced, and the commission will still hold its next planned meeting on April 11 at the University of Maine at Augusta’s Jewett Auditorium.

Some school districts, including Westbrook and Gorham, have canceled classes Thursday. Cities and towns instituted parking bans Wednesday night and delayed trash and recycling pickup for Thursday morning.

The Maine Emergency Management Association is coordinating with the Maine Department of Transportation, electric utilities and local emergency management partners to monitor the storm.

“I urge Maine people to take proper precautions and to prepare for possible power outages,” Gov. Janet Mills said in a prepared statement. “We recommend that you stay off the roads if you can, but if you must travel during the storm, be sure to give plow trucks, utility crews, and emergency first responders plenty of room as they work to keep us safe.”


A spokesman for Central Maine Power said the utility is pre-staging more than 450 line crews and 250 tree crews to be ready to respond to storm damage and outages.

“Heavy, wet snow can significantly slow travel, and having the right personnel, equipment and materials in the right places ahead of a storm like this can help ensure fast and safe power restoration,” Jon Breed said. “Weather conditions are going to be hazardous on Thursday, and we ask everyone to use caution on the roads in the coming days. When you see our crews out restoring power, please slow down and give them plenty of space to do their important work.”

Transportation could be disrupted. A spokesman at the Portland International Jetport said there were six cancellations for Thursday as of 7:50 p.m. Wednesday.

“We are expecting that the high winds will likely lead to more delays and potential cancellations throughout (Thursday),” said Zachary Sundquist, the assistant airport director. He recommended that passengers check with their airline for current flight information before heading to the jetport.

Amtrak said Wednesday afternoon that all trains on the Downeaster route are scheduled to operate Thursday. Station buildings might be closed or unstaffed, but train platforms will be accessible and allow for boarding. Concord Coach Lines canceled some service in New Hampshire and Maine. Greater Portland Metro said it plans to operate regular service, but delays and detours are likely, and service may be canceled if the storm is upgraded to a blizzard.

Many city halls, including Portland, will close Thursday. School districts that have already announced cancellations include Westbrook, Gorham, Auburn, Brunswick, RSU 61 (Lakes Region Schools) and MSAD 75 (Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Harpswell and Topsham).


Among the cities and towns with parking bans on Wednesday night were Portland, South Portland, Westbrook, Biddeford and Saco.

Portland residents who normally have trash and recycling pickup on Thursday will receive that service on Saturday. In most other towns – such as South Portland, Biddeford, Saco, Scarborough, Westbrook – trash pickup will be delayed by one day. Thursday pickup will be pushed to Friday, and Friday’s routes will be delayed to Saturday.

Coastal towns, such as Biddeford and Saco, warned of possible flooding early Thursday.

“There is a chance of coastal flooding surrounding the 7:35 a.m. high tide on Thursday due to tidal conditions, storm surge, and wind speed,” an alert from Saco officials said. “Please plan accordingly if you live in a coastal area.”

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