Snow began to fall across the region Friday afternoon, and fell for about two hours before turning to freezing rain. But the evening commute came and went and area police departments said winter mayhem was at a minimum.

“Knock on wood, it’s been pretty quiet,” said police Lt. James Minkowsky at the Lewiston Police Department. “I thought we’d have accidents stacked right up, but it hasn’t been bad.”

In Lewiston, only five crashes had been reported by late Friday night, three of them involving less than $1,000 in damages. No injuries were reported.

The storm, with a nasty mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain, presented police and utility crews with the possibility of power outages and messy roads.

Snow changed to sleet around 4:30 p.m., but several hours later, no major power outages had been reported.

Meteorologist Tom Hawley from the National Weather Service predicted up to a half-inch of freezing rain would fall in some areas before the storm was over. Combined with strong gusts, the precipitation could take down trees and tree limbs, causing power outages. Hawley said the icing will be worst in the foothills and mountains.

Forecasters said northern Maine is expected to get mostly snow, up to 10 inches, before the storm ends late Friday.

In Lewiston, Minkowsky guessed that the first storm of February was greeted by Mainers well-seasoned after a winter that has been rugged already.

“I think a lot of people got out of work early. A lot of businesses sent their employees home before the storm,” he said. “That probably helped.”


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