Don’t put your shovels and snowblowers away just yet, folks.

A late-winter storm will bring 12-18 inches of heavy snow Tuesday, with the heaviest period in the afternoon, with 1-4 inches falling per hour, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Kimble. 

Strong winds and low temperatures will create near-blizzard conditions at times, Kimble said. 

Temperatures will hover in the low 20s Tuesday into Wednesday, but the snow should come to an end Tuesday night.

Kimble said the cold weather will stay throughout the week, and there’s a chance of snow again Saturday.

“It’s colder than normal for this time of year,” Kimble said. “The average is about 41.”  

Auburn has a parking ban in place from noon Tuesday until noon Wednesday, and Lewiston’s is from 6 p.m. Tuesday to 10 a.m. Wednesday.

“Fortunately, we’ve been through plenty of storms by this time of year, so we’re used to it,” Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Bruce Fitzgerald said in a news release. “But it’s always good to remind people to play it safe and not become complacent.”

The release advised that before the storm arrives, Mainers should take steps to prepare, including:

* Ensure generators and alternative heat sources are in good working condition and properly installed.

* Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly.

* Make a Family Communications Plan. It is important to know how to contact one another if your family isn’t together when the storm begins and to know how and where to reunite.

* Assemble an emergency preparedness kit with enough food, water, medication, flashlights, batteries and other supplies necessary for at least three days.

* Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio which broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards.

* Subscribe to Emergency and Safety messages at MainePrepares.com.

* Download the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s “Be Smart. Know Your Alerts and Warnings” for a summary of notifications at: www.ready.gov/prepare. Free smartphone apps, such as those available from FEMA and the American Red Cross, provide information about finding shelters, providing first aid and seeking assistance for recovery.

* Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather and move other animals and livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

In the rest of New England, about 5,000 Tuesday flights were canceled as of late Monday afternoon. Amtrak canceled and modified service up and down the Northeast Corridor and motorists were urged to stay off the roads.

In New York City, the above-ground portions of the subway system were being shut down from 4 a.m. Tuesday. Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy imposed a statewide travel ban beginning at 5 a.m.

Oscar Edwards, left, Paul Lapointe and Eric Lapointe work on snowblower repairs at Lapointe’s Lawn and Garden Center in Lewiston on Monday. “When the weatherman predicts snow, the phone starts ringing,” shop owner Paul Lapointe said. He said the shop had started to transition into spring mode, but the forecast storm stirred things up. “We had to put down our lawn mower tools and pick up our snowblower tools,” he said. Lapointe said he had completely sold out of snowblowers this winter, but his sales rep was due to deliver 10 more from New Hampshire by closing time Monday. “We will deliver those early (Tuesday) morning to make sure they have them for the storm,” Lapointe said.  

Equipment operators Tim Cavanagh and Reggie Poussard attach a wing to a plow truck at Lewiston Public Works on Monday. Fleet operations manager Phil Brienza said employees had started to get summer equipment up and running before news of Tuesday’s storm arrived. 

Mike Robitaille signals the driver of a plow truck as he helps load a sander into the truck bed at Lewiston Public Works on Monday. Fleet operations manager Phil Brienza said employees had started to get summer equipment up and running before news of Tuesday’s storm arrived. 

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