It strained the backs of anyone who had to shovel it. It made a mess of streets and highways. And in many areas, it was even a challenge for big, powerful snow plows.
The late-winter storm known as Quinn delivered what was promised: more than a foot of snow that was wet and heavy from the outset.
In Livermore, a tow truck hauling a town plow truck Thursday morning jackknifed, slid off the road and struck a utility pole on River Road. A short time later, a plow was reported off the road in Turner.
In Lewiston, at least one city plow broke down as workers struggled to clear the streets and sidewalks.
“It’s been a pretty difficult storm,” said Jon Elie, highway operations manager for Lewiston Public Works, “because of the weight of the snow.”
The wet bulk of snow was not just a problem on the ground. Throughout the day, it also brought down trees and electrical lines, knocking out power across the region.
York County, which was particularly hard-hit by the storm, saw 13,000 outages by the middle of the afternoon. Cumberland, Sagadahoc and Lincoln counties also suffered outages.
By 4 p.m., Central Maine Power had restored service to more than 30,000 homes and businesses out of more than 52,000 affected by the storm since Wednesday evening. Outages peaked at nearly 26,000 just before noon Thursday.
At 8 p.m., roughly 14,000 were still without power, the highest numbers in Lincoln and York counties.
“Most of the damage is in southern and coastal areas, and the utility has moved more personnel and trucks to hard-hit York County to assist local crews with storm recovery,” CMP spokeswoman Gail Rice wrote in a prepared statement.
“More than 520 people are working in the field on storm recovery, and many more are performing support roles at facilities across CMP’s service area. CMP is coordinating its response with the Maine Emergency Management Agency and county emergency management personnel.”
By 6 p.m., it was still snowing in many areas. Rice said the lingering storm was continuing to wreak havoc with power lines.
“While crews have restored service to more than half the customers affected, heavy snow load on tree limbs and continued snowfall are causing new outages,” Rice said about 4:30 p.m.
“Travel conditions are also slowing progress. Due to the scope of the damage and continued impact from the slow-moving storm, CMP expects some customers will remain without service overnight.”
Snowfall amounts were impressive in some areas, underwhelming in others.
By 6 p.m., 15 inches had been recorded in Lewiston. A foot fell on surrounding areas, including Lisbon and Durham.
In Oxford County, more than 16 inches were reported in Hartford and Sumner, while 13 inches fell on surrounding towns. In Franklin County, 14 inches were reported in Farmington and surrounding areas.
In Auburn, rescue crews went to Highland Avenue at about 7:45 p.m. for a report of an 18-year-old who had gashed his head while tobogganing. The teen was treated at the scene.
Mark Fox, road foreman for the Oxford Highway Department, said that once the temperature started to rise in the Oxford Hills, “the roads were a lot easier to take care of.”
He said that as of 4 p.m., the snow was “still coming down a little bit,” but that it would not cause his crew any problems.
Norway Road Foreman Art Chappell said his crew had no issues throughout the day with keeping the roads clean.
“We didn’t have any more issues than we normally do,” Chappell said. “There was a few more inches of snow than usual, but it didn’t make too much of a difference.”
He said the Norway Highway Department was “sitting pretty” with its sand and salt piles, but is tight on overtime hours.
“I know quite a few other towns are at the end of their budgets for sand and salt,” Chappell said, “but I think we’ll make it through OK.”
After a week of dire predictions, the storm was underwhelming in a lot of ways. Yet even those who tried to stay out of it found themselves crossing paths with the snows of Quinn.
“I stepped outside for a quick break at work,” said Lydia Lazarou of Turner. “I stood under the eaves, seeking some protection from the wind and snow.
“Then the snow that was drifting precariously over the edge broke away and dropped squarely on top of my head. Instant whitewash! Gave everyone a good laugh for the day.”
• Lewiston: 15
• Lisbon Falls: 13
• Durham: 11.6
• West Auburn: 9.5
• Hartford: 16.5
• Sumner: 16
• Bryant Pond: 13
• Farmington: 13.8
• Kingfield: 9
• Portland: 15.4
• Falmouth: 14.4
• Brunswick: 14
• Raymond: 14