Turner Highway Manager Kent Harrington mixes salt and sand Tuesday at the town garage on Pit Road after he and his crew got the plows ready for Wednesday’s snowstorm. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

When Maine was hit with a whopper of a snowstorm nearly two weeks ago, snow sport enthusiasts were thrilled with the prospect of hitting the powder-caked slopes and trails.

This week’s snowstorm, however, will be a little different. Wet snow — possibly up to 18 inches in places — and high winds may cause power outages.

Androscoggin County is forecast to get 8-12 inches and parts of Oxford and Franklin counties perhaps 12-18 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Wind gusts will reach 45-55 miles per hour in some areas, according to NWS forecaster Jon Palmer.

“This is going to be a pretty significant system that will bring heavy, wet snow to the Lewiston area,” he said.

While the moisture-laden snow combined with weak tree branches above power lines is a concern, Palmer said the potential for outright blowdowns is what could cause widespread outages.

That’s why Central Maine Power has been keeping an eye on the storm for about a week.


CMP spokesman Jonathan Breed said that while working with three meteorological organizations, crews have taken to the roads, trails and sky to inspect lines and hot spots from the last snowstorm March 23.

“Expecting overnight Wednesday damage, we’ll have extra crews tomorrow afternoon ahead of time,” Palmer said. “The last 24 hours before a storm is critical for preparations.”

Breed said in a news release Tuesday that CMP has also secured additional line crews.

In Androscoggin County, snow is expected to begin around 9 p.m., blowing in with 35 mph winds and a temperature of 29 degrees. Overnight accumulations are expected to be 4-8 inches. Another 6-10 inches are forecast through Thursday night.

On Friday, temps are expected to reach 39 degrees, bringing a significant chance of rain.

Les Libby of Auburn fills up his sand buckets Tuesday at the Auburn Public Works Department in anticipation of the upcoming snowstorm. “I’m just hoping it’s not as bad as they are saying it’s going to be,” he said. “That last storm I ran my snow thrower through it twice while it was falling and the next morning, forget it, I couldn’t touch it. I had to drive over it.” The Lewiston-Auburn area is expected to get as much as 16 inches in a two-day storm spanning Wednesday through Friday. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

In Oxford County, there is a 30% chance of snow starting around 3 p.m. Wednesday and a high temperature of 37 degrees. Any rain and snow mix will turn to snow after 9 p.m. with a temps in the high 20s and wind gusts of between 20 and 40 mph. Nighttime accumulations are forecast at 6-10 inches. Another 6-12 inches are forecast for Thursday with wind gusts of up to 35 mph.


A brief rain and snow mix is forecast for Friday, eventually turning to all rain.

Franklin County will have a mostly uneventful Wednesday, but heavy snow will start falling around 10 p.m. with wind gusts reaching 35 mph. Accumulations through Thursday are 9-17 inches.

John Herrick of Lost Valley Ski Area in Auburn said the slopes closed officially Saturday with the Lost Valley Beach Bash, but the upcoming storm changes things.

“This storm hopefully is going to make us a hundred percent open again, but we will be open for sure on Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Herrick said. “It’s hard to complain about snow, it came a little late, but we’re glad we got it and we’re all going to take advantage of it again.”

Likewise, Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley will also take advantage of the snow, wet and heavy as it may be. Spokesperson Charli Sayward said the more snow, the better.

“(It) helps us maintain our base so we can continue to enjoy skiing and riding through the spring season,” Sayward said. “The resort is expecting increased visitors with the fresh snow just in time for the solar eclipse Monday. Sugarloaf is in the path of totality making it a great spectating location!”

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