Workers load trash into their truck Tuesday afternoon in Lewiston. The weather was making the job harder, according to the city. They warned that workers may not be able to get to all the city’s neighborhoods Tuesday. Larry Gilbert/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Snow accumulates on neatly placed garbage cans along Knox Street in downtown Lewiston on Tuesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

UPDATED 1 P.M.: The city of Lewiston reported that its trash pickup hasn’t been going smoothly during Tuesday’s storm. The trucks may not be able to get to all the neighborhoods Tuesday. In that case, the city asks residents to bring their remaining trash back from the street. They’re going to try again next week.

LEWISTON — The snow started getting heavy Tuesday morning but it was expected to be heaviest in the afternoon.

“This is just getting started for most of Maine,” Michael Clair, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, told the Portland Press Herald.

The storm is expected to linger over Maine through the afternoon, with the heaviest bands of snow expected to move into the area by mid-morning. Snow could fall at a rate of more than an inch an hour.

WGME graphic

WGME forecasts 3-6-inches for Lewiston and only 1-3 inches in the mountains. The Portland area north through Augusta should expect an additional 5-9 inches on Tuesday. The mid-coast and Bangor area are expected to bear the brunt of the story with 8-12 inches.

The National Weather Service reported  heavy bands of snow dropped up to an inch of snow an hour overnight moved into coastal Maine before 5 a.m.

Strong winds are expected with gusts as high as 35 mph.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills originally delayed the opening of state offices, then announced that they’d be closed altogether because of the storm.

“With the snowfall intensifying and winds growing stronger in the coming hours, driving conditions will only become more difficult and dangerous,” Mills said in a statement. “ I urge all Maine people to avoid driving if possible and, for those who must, I urge you to do so with caution and to provide ample space to our road maintenance crews and first responders as they work to clear and keep our roads safe.”

The Maine Turnpike Authority lowered the speed limit from the New Hampshire line to Gardiner to 45 mph due to snow. The speed limit is also reduced on I-95 north to Old Town.

Erin Courtney, spokeswoman for the Maine Turnpike Authority, said drivers should be aware of a change in how the turnpike will be plowed through the Portland area, where there are four bridge projects within 5 miles. Because the travel lanes are narrow, plows will be traveling very close together instead of staggered by 300 to 400 feet.

“There won’t be room to pass in between the plows,” she said, noting the plow trucks are wider than the narrowed lanes.

Skies will clear Tuesday night and temperatures will fall into the teens. Wednesday and Thursday look mostly cloudy and cool.

Some more light snow is possible late Friday, but a big storm isn’t expected.

Information from Gillian Graham of the Portland Press Herald, WGME and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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