Snowstorm sweeps through central Maine

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Storm of the century?

No. But the roughly half a foot of fresh snow that fell across most of the region presented the usual array of problems. The snow had to be shoveled out of yards and plowed from the streets. Driving was treacherous for most of the day and the usual fender benders were reported.

And parking bans, of course.

“Mother Nature,” said an Auburn police news release, “has decided after a month off, we need to dust off the snowplows and snow shovels.”

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That was its way of announcing that parking bans would be in effect all day Wednesday.

Although some parts of the country got up to 15 inches of snow, western Maine was mostly spared the big numbers. By the evening commute on Wednesday, Lewiston, Auburn and the surrounding area was looking at just over 5 inches of snow.

Oxford and Franklin counties received about the same amounts, while Cumberland and York counties got hit a little harder, with 8 inches reported by nightfall.

The bigger story? Another winter storm is preparing to plow into the area over the weekend.

Maybe.

Forecasters say a storm developing in the western part of the country could sweep east and north late in the weekend. Chances are good, though, that it will blow out to sea and miss us.

“At this point, it’s sort of up in the air,” said Bob Marine, of the National Weather Service in Gray. “We’re leaning toward it being not much of an event at all.”

As always, the people who inhabit the ski slopes were not complaining about the fresh snow. It’s been weeks, after all, since appreciable snow has fallen.

“If this is what February is going to be like,” wrote Ethan Austin, communications director at Sugarloaf Mountain ski resort, “then we’re going to get along just fine. Snow is pounding down outside my window as I type this, and the latest forecasts are calling for 6 inches or more by the time it’s all said and done. This is on top of the 4 inches we picked up on Sunday, and the perfect bluebird days in between. So long, January. It’s been good to know ya.”

What’s next? Not much. The forecast calls for clear weather the rest of the week.

“As soon as you get a storm, everybody wants to know when the next one will be,” Marine said.

Closed, cancelled and postponed

Auburn Hall closed at 2 p.m. Wednesday because of the weather. The School Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday night was postponed until 5:30 p.m. Feb. 12.

Auburn Recreation closed at 2 p.m. and cancelled youth open gym, youth basketball practices and adult basketball.

Gov. Paul LePage ordered government offices closed at noon in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, Waldo, Kennebec, Androscoggin and Oxford counties.

Lewiston cancelled Wednesday’s Board of Appeals meeting. It was rescheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 19.

LA Film Forum at Lewiston Library cancelled.

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