ELLSWORTH — A winter storm expected to dump more than a foot of snow on Washington and Hancock counties churned its way up the coast throughout the morning Wednesday.

The National Weather Service’s Caribou office is projecting 10-18 inches of snow in Washington and Hancock counties, where blizzard warnings will be in effect throughout the day.

By late morning, the National Weather Service was reporting north winds at 17 mph with gusts up to 30 mph in such coastal communities as Eastport, Cutler, Machias and Jonesport.

In Machias and elsewhere, the storm was producing blowing, swirling snowy conditions.

On social media, reports circulated that the storm, with air pressure as low as 962 millibars, was the strongest since the 1993 Superstorm, in which air pressure measured as low as 960 millibars.

Ocean Drive, the section of the Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park that normally is open throughout the winter, was closed Wednesday because of the storm. The road provides access to Sand Beach and Thunder Hole, which frequently draw visitors in the winter when foul weather churns up heavy surf along the shore.

The weather service said southern Aroostook and Penobscot counties are under a winter storm warning and northern Aroostook County a winter weather advisory, mainly due to high winds expected to come with the storm.

The greater Bangor area was expected to see 4-6 inches, southern Aroostook county 4-8 inches and 1-3 inches in northern Aroostook County, but high winds will likely limit visibility.

BDN reporter Bill Trotter contributed to this report.

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