AUBURN — According to a Facebook post, Auburn police flipped a coin, and lost the toss.

Auburn police said the department met with the city’s Public Works Department and School Committee on Monday to discuss Tuesday’s storm and were stumped as to whether the city would get rain or snow.

“If we did a ban and we got rain, people would be calling us idiots for having a ban,” read the post.

Auburn got about 5 inches of wet, heavy snow Tuesday morning. After being tossed a curve ball by Mother Nature, the Auburn Police Department issued a parking ban around 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, banning parking in the city from noon to midnight Tuesday.

On Facebook, a commenter noted that many people parked on street had already left for work when the ban was issued, and another said last-minute parking bans should not be allowed.

According to the Police Department, officers went through great effort to negate the expense of having a car towed: knocking on doors and using loudspeakers to inform the illegally parked of their potentially expensive errors. According to Patrol Sgt. Steven D. Gosselin, six vehicles ended up being towed.

Usually, the city charges a $35 impound fee for recovered vehicles; that fee was waived in response to the last-minute ban.

But those towed are still on the hook for a towing fee. The city of Auburn tows cars through outside companies, and fees can often cost hundreds of dollars.

Lewiston police declared a parking ban around 12:30 p.m. Monday. The ban lasted from 11 p.m. Monday to 11 p.m. Tuesday. According to Lt. David St. Pierre, as of 7 a.m., Lewiston police had towed 115 vehicles citywide and ticketed 167 vehicles.

Lewiston and Auburn both post parking ban alerts on Facebook, and on the cities’ websites. Those with mobile phones or emails can opt for email and text alerts through Auburn’s Alert Me service and Lewiston’s Notify Me service.

For Auburn residents seeking refuge from future parking bans, those with winter relief parking permits can park for free in the city garage.

According to the Auburn city website, the permits are free and are available at the Police Department. Vehicles have to be out of the garage within two hours  of the ban ending.

An Auburn police cruiser drives down Broad Street in Auburn on Tuesday afternoon where cars parked along the street have been plowed in. Many Lewiston-Auburn residents came out to find their vehicles had been towed during a snowstorm. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

An Auburn snowplow plows in a vehicle on Roak Street in Auburn Tuesday afternoon. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)


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