Aaron Gagnon clears a path Thursday so his neighbor can reach the mailbox along the Pond Road in Lewiston. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

School canceled, businesses closed and car wrecks all over the place. 

The latest storm was not the biggest we have ever seen, but snow falling most of the day Thursday caused its usual array of problems and left nearly a foot in some areas. 

The snow began falling overnight and by the supper hour Thursday, it was still coming down in places. The town of Raymond seemed to have gotten it worst, reporting 11 inches of fresh snow by 6 p.m.

Auburn recorded 8 inches by the time it was over, while 5 inches were recorded in other parts of Androscoggin County, including Lewiston and Turner. 

In Oxford County, Otisfield reported 8 inches had fallen by 6 p.m. while the town of Oxford recorded only slightly more than 4 inches. In Franklin County, Farmington saw 2½ inches of new snow, while surrounding towns reported even less. 

Roads were slick and car crashes were reported just about everywhere. Most accidents were minor affairs — cars sliding off roads, mainly. 

Zach Butterfield of Lewiston puts air in his tires Thursday at the Sabattus Street Irving gas station while plowing snow in Lewiston. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

At about 2 p.m., there was report of a tractor-trailer having flipped onto its side in the town of Strong. At about the same time, two tractor-trailers were reported stuck on the Paris end of Streaked Mountain Road. At about 4 p.m., a car was reported to have slid into a tree on School Street in Canton. 

The heavy snow brought down power lines in Lewiston and a tree into the roadway in Sabattus, while also triggering slide-offs, rollovers and fender benders. 

On various roads in towns all over the place, cars slid into trees, into utility poles and in one case, at about 2 p.m. on Weld Street in Dixfield, a fire hydrant. 

In Auburn, police Lt. Scott Watkins reported that the day’s log mainly consisted of minor car crashes and a lot of parking ban violations.

The snow was wet and heavy, making it tough to shovel and bad news for tree branches and power lines. By the middle of the day, about 3,000 Central Maine Power Co. customers were without power, the bulk of them in Waldo County. Only a handful of outages were reported in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties by the time the storm ground to a stop. 

By 6 p.m., the number of CMP outages across the state was down to 516 customers.

Ava Kramer, 9, helps her “Ninny,” Ethel Hallock, shovel snow from their driveway Thursday along Pond Road in Lewiston. “I like to come out and shovel in the morning. The air is crisp, its quiet and it’s beautiful. I love it,” Hallock said. “Only good things fall down from heaven.” Kramer, a fourth-grader at Montello Elementary School, said she had her third snow day of the school year Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

With cold weather breezing in on Friday, one forecaster had a bit of advice for those prone to procrastinating over clearing their driveways. 

“Word to the wise,” wrote Mike Haggett, on the Pine Tree Weather Facebook page. “Get the snow cleaned up tonight because by morning it will be cement, and we have more snow coming Saturday night into Sunday that you will need to make room for.” 

Most cities, including Lewiston and Auburn, imposed parking bans into Thursday night so crews could continue to clear streets. 

Superior courts in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties were closed Thursday, as were the state district courts in Lewiston, Farmington and South Paris. 

All schools in Lewiston and Auburn were closed, as were state offices. 

In several cities and towns, including Lewiston and Auburn, recreational activities scheduled for Thursday night were canceled or postponed. 

What’s next? More winter.

Friday is expected to be sunny, but extremely cold and windy.

The weekend storm forecast calls for the next snowstorm to roll in Saturday night. By the time it ends Sunday, as much as 6 inches of snow accumulation is expected, according to forecasts. There is a possibility of rain or a wintry mix during the storm, too.

“January. You live in Maine. That’s part of life,” said Paul Gauvreau, while blowing snow from his driveway in Lewiston on Thursday. While Gauvreau said he does not mind the winter, his thoughts were elsewhere. “Thirty-six days until spring training,” he said. “That inspires me.” Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

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