National Weather Service map

A storm that could dump more than a foot of wet snow in northern Maine and unleash heavy rain and gusty winds along the coast is expected Thursday afternoon into Friday.

The National Weather Service called a winter storm warning in effect for most of Maine. Precipitation is expected late Thursday morning and early afternoon. Heavy, wet snow will have the most impact in the mountains, foothills and interior Maine, according to the NWS.

The NWS warns that this snow tends to bond to tree limbs, making them sag. This is when trees limbs are vulnerable to snapping — or even whole trees could fall. Strong winds can increase the chances that limbs and trees could fall into power lines.

The snow also could make travel conditions hazardous, warns the NWS.

Coastal areas are likely to experience minor  flooding and wind gusts  near 40 MPH. Elsewhere in the state, the strongest wind gusts are expected Friday after the precipitation has ended.

Central Maine Power is advising customers to prepare for potential outages that could last more than a day. The company has 100 tree crews ready to respond, along with roughly 80 internal and 85 in-state contractor line crews.

“We are working closely with the Maine Emergency Management Agency to coordinate our response,” Doug Herling, president and CEO of CMP, said in a news release. “We understand that most Mainers are working and learning at home, and, given state executive orders, there are limitations on where people can go if they experience an outage.”

Herling advised customers to have charged electronic devices, batteries, lamps and generators, if available. Enrolling in the free CMP Alerts service provides the latest information about power outages by text, email or voice message.

“As always, we will respond as quickly and safely as we can in the event we have outages,” he said.

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