CARRABASSETT VALLEY — Three days short of May, skiers at Sugarloaf Mountain Resort reveled Wednesday in a spring snowstorm that dropped up to 10 inches of snow at the still-open resort.
“The storm provided skiers with one final powder day at Sugarloaf, which was the only resort east of Colorado open on Wednesday,” according to a release issued by the ski area. Sugarloaf offered skiers and riders two lifts and 24 trails on Wednesday, and planned to remain open through Sunday, May 2.
Other areas in the western mountains of Maine received snow accumulation early in the day — about 5 inches in Bethel — but rain later washed most of it away, according to The Associated Press.
“It’s a momentary inconvenience and it’s pretty much gone, so we can get back our thoughts of early spring,” said Wendy Hanscom, a high school secretary in Bethel.
The National Weather Service reported more than 20 inches of snow fell on the western slopes of Vermont’s Green Mountains northeast of Burlington. In the mountain town of Jericho, some residents visited the local library to stay warm and browse the Internet.
“It’s been constant pretty much since we opened our doors. Parents are definitely looking for some place warm to bring their kids,” said Holly Hall, director of the Deborah Rawson Memorial Library. And it’s not just parents. “Every available outlet we have is in use right now. There are more laptop users than usual.”
Large storms so late in the season are rare. On April 23, 1993, 22 inches were reported in Malone, N.Y.; and on April 27, 1874, 24 inches were reported in Bellows Falls, Vt., said Mark Breen, the senior meteorologist at the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium in St. Johnsbury.
“You really do have to stretch to find events like this,” Breen said.
At the peak of the storm Wednesday morning, about 30,000 customers were without power across Vermont, New Hampshire and northern New York. It could be Thursday before power is fully restored.
“It definitely caught people off guard, considering we had 80 degrees back in March,” said Vermont highway dispatcher Greg Fox. “It’s a problem because some people swapped their (snow) tires out already.”
Others welcomed one more shot at winter fun.
Dr. Richard Erenstone, an ophthalmologist in Lake Placid, N.Y., was thrilled to get another day — or two — on skis. He had just returned from a 40-minute loop with his dog on a golf course that got about 10 inches of fresh snow.
“The toughest thing was finding the access road because it had not been plowed,” he said. “This was a nice bonus day and gives me a total of 134 days on skis this season. With the temps dropping below freezing tonight, I’ll be out there again first thing tomorrow before it begins to melt.”