‘The mighty Quinn’ to dump massive snow on Maine

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Lewiston Public Works employees Dana Drew, right, and Steve Damien wrestle Tuesday afternoon with a wing cable as they attach it to the wing blade on a truck at the Public Works garage on Adams Avenue. They were preparing for the storm predicted to dump more than a foot of snow. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

During the day Wednesday, things will be mostly normal – except for all that planning, like where to park.

“The city of Auburn is implementing a parking ban for the impending snow Armageddon,” Deputy Chief of Police Jason Moen warned Tuesday.

“The ban begins Wednesday night at midnight, and will run through 7 a.m. Friday.”

Between 18 and 24 inches of snow are in the forecast for the Lewiston-Auburn area, with similar amounts expected in surrounding regions.

Lewiston also has a parking ban from 9 p.m. Wednesday through 7 a.m. Friday.

Wednesday night, as the storm called “Quinn” hits, things will get quiet, except for the grocery stores, where shoppers will make sure they have provisions to last two days.

Public meetings for Wednesday night were called off Tuesday: There is no Auburn School Committee. No community forum at Edward Little. Even the “Knitting Knights” have called off their needling at the Lewiston Public Library.

On Thursday, there will be almost nothing happening: No school. No garbage pick up. No work for many.

There will, however, be a lot of snow and wind. Especially snow.

The National Weather Service says a winter storm warning will be in effect from 7 p.m. Wednesday through 4 p.m. Thursday. In some places, snow will linger into early Friday.

Snow will be heavy.

“Travel will be very difficult to impossible, including the morning commute on Thursday,” according to the National Weather Service.

There will be wind and gusts. Combined with the heavy snow, there could be power outages from downed limbs.

With the possibility of trees and electrical lines succumbing to wind and heavy snow, Central Maine Power officials were preparing Tuesday for outages, perhaps a lot of them.

“We’re ready,” said the announcement on the CMP web page Tuesday afternoon. “We’ll be working around the clock to fix any problems, and if you’re power is out, we’ll get it back on as soon as we can.”

All of this just two weeks from calendar spring and just a week after temperatures that flirted with 60 degrees.

Area school superintendents are hoping to squeeze in a full day of school Wednesday. They acknowledge Thursday is looking like a snow day, again.

Wednesday is an early release day for Auburn elementary students, which works nicely with an incoming blockbuster storm.

Older students are dismissed around 2 p.m., which should allow enough time for students to arrive home before the heavy snow starts, said Superintendent Katy Grondin.

Like a lot of us, Grondin says she has had enough of winter.

“Everyone’s ready for spring,” Grondin said, adding she has heard more birds singing lately, a sure sign of spring.

But the arrival of spring in Maine is often a tease, a joke.

If only one snow day is used this week, the last day of school for Lewiston and Auburn would be Tuesday, June 19, Grondin said.

When Poland Superintendent Tina Meserve heard the largest storm of the season is headed this way, “my first thought was: ‘We finally got rid of ice and have bare pavement. Now, we’re adding snow on top.'”

“But we live in Maine,” she said. A lot of snow enthusiasts will enjoy “one last little hurrah.”

There will be school Wednesday, but not likely Thursday, Meserve said.

“We want to stay in school to get in as much education as possible,” as long as the roads are safe, she said.

The Wednesday dismissal could mean students ride home in light snow.

If the storm starts earlier on Wednesday, Poland will do an early dismissal informing parents of the time through the emergency messenger system, Meserve said.

If there is only one storm day used (Thursday), that puts the last day of school in Poland at June 21. If more storm days are needed, the latest school will run will be Friday, June 22.

Students would have to make up additional time with longer school days. Meserve said she does not want students in class during the last week of June, when July 4th is around the corner, temperatures rise and students would be unfocused.

Lisbon Superintendent Rick Green said his district has used five snow days so far.

He agreed there will be school Wednesday, and has his fingers crossed Thursday will not be as bad as predicted so another snow day will be avoided.

Said Green, “Our only hope is a late start on Thursday.”

Parking bans and cancellations

  • Auburn parking ban: Midnight Thursday through 7 a.m. Friday.
  • Lewiston parking ban: 9 p.m. Wednesday through 7 a.m. Friday.
  • Lewiston-Auburn trash pickup delayed: Due to the snow storm, Thursday’s trash will be picked up Friday, sanitation officials said. Friday’s trash will be picked up Saturday.

 

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