AUGUSTA — Many local schools were closed Thursday because of the storm that dropped less snow than predicted in the capital area, but left behind icy roads and poor conditions.
Official snowfall totals were not available, but the city got about four to six inches overnight, as well as sleet and freezing rain. Some towns north and west of the city got more snow, a foot or more in scattered northern Kennebec County towns like Belgrade Lakes and in Somerset County.
The western mountains and ski areas hit the snow jackpot, with the National Weather Service reporting 23 inches in Rangeley.
Schools in Augusta, Gardiner, Manchester, Readfield, and Wayne were among those closed Thursday. Local state offices did not open until 10 a.m. All courts in Kennebec and Somerset counties were closed for the day.
Wind gusts picked up during the night Wednesday into Thursday and the National Weather Service reported one gust in Augusta of 52 mph at 1:32 a.m. and a 43 mph gust in Waterville shortly after.
Although more than 4,000 Central Maine Power customers statewide were without power as of 9:19 a.m., only 273 of those were in Kennebec County, according to the company’s website. The largest number of outages were reported in Oxford County (1,847), with Somerset the next highest at 1,034. By 4 p.m., the statewide total was 961, with less than a dozen in Kennebec County and 295 in Somerset County.
A winter storm warning remained in effect until noon Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Snow still fell lightly for most of the day, adding one to three inches in most places to the four to six inches that fell overnight in the Augusta area. Temperatures stayed in the teens.
When the storm started on Wednesday, many schools closed early in anticipation of the storm.
The storm was the first real test for Augusta’s new sand-and-salt mix used to treat city streets, announced in late February after officials said they couldn’t get more road salt after one more delivery. As a result, the city switched from a mix of 75 percent salt and 25 percent sand to the opposite — 25 percent salt and 75 percent sand.