The beat goes on.

Mainers on Thursday woke up to weather that looked a lot like the same old thing.

As most people slept Wednesday night, temperatures dropped, rain turned to snow and March continued to pour it on.

Children and teachers just about everywhere got one final gift from Mother Nature: Classes were canceled at most schools. Why not? The roads were messy and the storm was still grinding into the afternoon.

At the start of the day, Dixfield already had 20 inches.

“It’s wet and heavy,” Town Treasurer Angela Varnum said. “I could barely get out of my driveway.”

Dixfield had the dubious distinction of the getting the most snow, but it was hardly a springtime paradise in neighboring towns: 16 inches in Eustis, 12 in parts of Buckfield, close to 10 in Bridgton.

And wind. Before the storm wound down, it gusted up to 52 mph in some places. Lewiston saw 40 mph gusts, which whipped 5 fresh inches of snow into roadside sculptures. By the middle of the day, Central Maine Power had storm-related outages down to roughly 1,000 customers, nearly all in Oxford County.

It was cold. The temperature struggled to reach 16 degrees in most places and with the shrieking winds, it felt downright arctic. Car doors froze shut. Windshield wipers had to be chiseled away from the glass.

On Facebook, it was one post after another featuring travails with snowblowers, shovels and sloppy roads. People found new and interesting ways to voice their displeasure with lingering winter, but the quote of the day came from Dianne Maziarz of Turner.

“I have cashmere goats,” Maziarz said, as she shoveled her driveway on Center Bridge Road, “and even they’re sick of this weather.”

How do you know when a cashmere goat is sick and tired of winter? They behave like the rest of us, as it turns out. They sulk.

“Watching them, on the few warm days they play, butt heads, stuff like that,” Maziarz said. But on the cold days they stay in the little barns. I have to bring them their grain and hay instead of them coming to me. They didn’t act like that in the beginning of the winter, but they do now. I can’t blame them.”

There may be light at the end of the tunnel.

The forecast called for a low of zero degrees Thursday night in Lewiston, which doesn’t sound like any kind of respite. But the forecast also called for warming to the mid-40s by Saturday with no major snowfall on the horizon.


“I’d be hesitant to say it will be our last storm,” National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Hawley said. “But it could be.”

Of course, the damage has already been done. The state has seen more than two feet of snow above average, so far this winter: Portland had measured 79.6 inches by midnight, 27.3 inches above average.

At noon, the speed limit was still reduced to 45 mph for the length of the Maine Turnpike, according to a spokeswoman.

The turnpike had seen two accidents during the storm, when a tractor-trailer jackknifed and blocked northbound traffic around midnight near Kennebunk and in the morning when a vehicle slid into the median near Biddeford.

Ski areas? Loving it, as always. At Sugarloaf, out like a lion would be just fine with the people who maintain the company website.

“Historically, February and March are the snowiest months here at the Loaf,” went the Thursday afternoon message, “and by the looks of things March is giving February a run for its money in terms of snowfall amounts. With more terrain scheduled to reopen and conditions getting better by the minute, today is already one of the best powder days of the year.”

Snowfall totals around the region

Turner: 6.5

East Livermore Falls: 10

Lewiston: 5

Bridgton: 9.3

Rangeley: 18

Farmington: 16.5

Phillips: 12

Dixfield: 20

Bethel: 18

West Paris: 8

Source: National Weather Service, Gray

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