A couple of snowmobilers gassed up their sleds at Danny’s Variety in Lewiston on Saturday afternoon – the deep snow has many snowmobile enthusiasts taking advantage of the stormy conditions.Gerry D’Amour looks over the dwindling supply of shovels, snow rakes and snow pushers at Steven’s Hardware in Sabattus. The store had a run on winter supplies on Saturday.

LEWISTON — It’s that time again for rushed preparation and supply shopping. It’s blizzard time. 

The National Weather Service is forecasting 18 to 24 inches of fresh snow starting Sunday afternoon into Monday afternoon. 

“We’re gonna have a little light snow and freezing rain tonight,” meteorologist Michael Ekster said. “And the meat of the storm comes in Sunday afternoon, but the heaviest snowfall will most likely be after midnight Sunday through Monday.”

Ekster said to expect 1 to 2 feet of snow in Lewiston and across most of the state. 

Winds will increase Sunday night into Monday morning, with possible blizzard conditions. Wind speed is expected to be around 40 mph. 

“It will taper off Monday afternoon and should be completely done by Monday night,” he said. 

Temperatures should be in the mid teens to low 20s for most of the storm. 

Ekster said Maine has gotten 56 inches of snow so far this winter, which is above normal.

“And after this storm, it will be way above that,” he said. 

With a blizzard on the way, it’s important to know what steps to take in order to stay safe, warm and happy.

Red Cross Regional Disaster Program Officer Dave Sheehan said the Red Cross is currently monitoring the progress of the storm and communicating with partners about possible impacts.

“Before the storm starts, people should ensure they are prepared with food, water and necessary medications for a few days at home,” Sheehan said. “They should stay informed about the storm’s progress through media reports, etc.”

Once the storm begins, people should stay at home and off the roads, he said. 

The Maine Emergency Management Agency website recommends that residents should make sure they have rock salt, sand, snow shovels and sufficient heating fuel before the storm starts. 

They also advise bringing pets and animals indoors or to warm shelter and staying off the roads.

If you must drive, make sure your vehicle is equipped and ready with enough antifreeze and oil and that your brakes and lights are working. Let someone know your destination, your route and when you expect to arrive.

Other tips from EMA include:

• Stay indoors;

• Walk slowly and carefully;

• Avoid overexertion when shoveling;

• Cover skin and keep dry; and

• Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes.

Steven’s Hardware Store in Sabattus was seeing many people preparing for the storm. 

“We’re just about out of shovels, the scoops are gone and all the 50-pound bags of rock salt are gone,” manager John Bade said.

They also sold a lot of hand warmers, antifreeze, hydraulic oil and spark plugs. 

“Roof rakes, heating supplies, gloves — things you’d expect for the storm,” Bade said.

Hardware Associate Gerry D’Amour recommended making sure you have shovels accessible and that snowblowers and snowplows are running and have enough fuel to operate. He also advised to make sure you have enough batteries and devices are charged. 

As for shoveling, he suggested to wait until the storm’s over so you don’t have to do it more than once.

Walking into Hannaford Saturday afternoon, it was evident that everyone was getting ready be be snowed in. There was a full parking lot and every register lane was open, with customers scurrying for everything they could possibly need. That is, if it wasn’t already sold out. 

Here are some storm preparation tips from our very own Sun Journal readers:

• Kaitie King: “I bought pina colada mix and the ingredients for tons and tons of lemon sugar cookies. Going to eat, drink and be snowed in.”

• Vicki Wiegman: “Magazines, a book, knitting and groceries . . . oh, and fully charged phones, etc.”

• Samantha Laverdiere: “I made sure to have enough food and water for myself and my animals.”

• Jackie Roy-Lamiette: “Having roofs shoveled.”

• Eric Maxim: “Stocked up on foods to bake, crockpot etc. that will make the place smell good. Also movies lined up to watch with the kids.”

• Robyn Adkins: “Making sure we have casseroles made and food that can be heated/cooked on the wood stove. Batteries for light backup.” 

• Albert Godfrey, Sr.: “I got extra gasoline for the snow blower and generator and made sure the larder was filled with the usual staples for the long haul, if necessary.”

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