Maine’s first blizzard in years delivered less snow in some spots than expected, but still plenty to shovel.

Strong winds did not result in widespread power outages as feared, but a Raymond residence was severely damaged when a tree snapped and crashed through the single-family home. A resident who was there described the jarring experience in an interview Sunday night.

Portland received 11 inches of snow, National Weather Service meteorologist Michael Clair said Sunday.

The most snow in southern Maine fell in Bath-Brunswick, which received 18 to 20 inches, Clair said. “Lewiston-Auburn got close to a foot, and Augusta 14 to 15 inches.”

Elsewhere in Maine, Eastport got 18.7 inches; East Machias, 17 inches; Houlton, 15 inches; Presque Isle, 13 inches; Caribou, 12.2 inches; Brewer, 12.3 inches. Belfast, 13.7 inches; and Thomaston, 14.5 inches.

The blizzard carried heavy snow bands that were at times localized, which is why some areas got significantly more than others, Clair said. The snow fell all day Saturday. Steady snow in Portland began around 7 a.m. and continued through 11 p.m., Clair said.


As forecast, the late afternoon saw the worst conditions. The storm officially became a blizzard around 2:30 p.m. when there had been three hours of wind gusts over 35 miles per hour, steady snowfall, and visibility of less than a quarter of a mile.

Those conditions actually lasted in Portland for four hours, Clair said. Wind gusts whistled and moaned and reached a high of 59 miles an hour in Portland. “You could hear it in the trees,” Clair said.

The home on 4 Brown Road in Raymond was the victim of high winds when a large pine tree snapped and crashed down directly on it at 3:30 p.m.Saturday, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

A woman and her two dogs escaped serious injury when a tree fell on her Raymond home during Saturday’s blizzard. Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office photo

The three-bedroom residence was occupied by Christopher Nassa, his girlfriend, Shannon Lurvey, 45, and her two sons. They have two dogs, a bulldog named Morgan and a pit bull named Buca.

The tree came down through the roof, Nassa recalled in a telephone interview Sunday evening . The force of the impact and accompanying wind gust knocked Lurvey off a couch and onto the floor. She was covered with debris when Nassa found her.

“I came into the room and couldn’t see her. All I could see was the rubble and I heard her crying for help,” Nassa said. Lurvey suffered a concussion, and an assortment of bumps and bruises, but did not have to be hospitalized, according to Nassa.


Her sons, who were sleeping in a bedroom, could not open the bedroom door, but were able to crawl outside to safety through a window. They were not injured.

“One of the dogs (Buca) was safely removed; a second remained trapped in debris,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

Sheriff’s deputies and Raymond Fire Department rescue workers breached a window, cleared debris and found Morgan, who was trapped but not injured. The dog had been asleep in a chair when the tree crashed into the home, and the chair actually shielded the dog from being struck or crushed, the sheriff’s office said.

Nassa said the home is insured, but the family will have to stay with friends until repairs can be made.


Despite strong wind gusts, power outages were less than feared on Saturday, largely due to the fact the snow was light and fluffy.


Central Maine Power reported that 1,721 of its 661,775 customers in southern and central Maine were without power Saturday night . As of Sunday morning, CMP reported 376 customers were without power, and just 25 late Sunday night.

“We never had a great number,” CMP spokeswoman Catharine Hartnett said Sunday. “Through the course of the day we had about a total of 7,800 customers impacted. And that was not a peak, that was people losing power and us restoring it.”

Jonathan LeBlanc uses a snow blower to clear his driveway and sidewalk Sunday after Saturday’s winter storm. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographe

CMP was prepared for a high number of outages, but that didn’t happen. she said. “That’s great. We didn’t have the number of outages that this level of wind can bring.”

Portland Police Department spokesman David Singer said in an email things went well Saturday night. “There were a few instances of trees down, but nothing catastrophic. With the parking ban in place, 46 vehicles were towed, 98 vehicles were ticketed.”

During the storm police said traffic was light and people stayed home.

On Sunday residents emerged, all bundled up, to shovel, slide and walk.


Among those was a 92-year-old woman who pushed her snowblower to clear a path to her oil tank. “I love the snow,” she said, declining to give her name. She said she likes being outside. “I like the four seasons.”

A resident of the Hathaway Creative Center in Waterville clears his car out from over a foot of snow in Waterville on Sunday. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Marc Lesperance of Portland was out early Sunday shoveling and dog walking. He was thrilled with the snow.

“It’s been a weird couple of years,” with too little snow. “We love it.” He and his dog, Marco, a rescue from Mississippi, blazed a trail in Baxter Woods. At 7 a.m. there were people there enjoying the scenery, Lesperance said. “The trees were full of snow. It was just beautiful.”

The forecast shows the snow should stick around for a while.

“It doesn’t look like we’re (going to) have much melting anytime soon,” Clair said. “It’s going to stay plenty cold.”

Later in the week, Wednesday and Thursday, there will likely be some snow melt as temperatures are expected to get into the low 40s, he said.

“We’re watching another storm late in the week. We don’t know if it’s going to be rain, snow or a mix.” That storm could arrive late Thursday and into Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey contributed to this article.

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