AUGUSTA — The winter’s first big snowstorm dropped more than a foot of snow in some areas along the southern coast and slightly less in central Maine before it tapered off by early afternoon.

The National Weather Service canceled its winter snow warning at 2 p.m., an hour earlier than expected. Augusta saw about 8 inches by 9 a.m., but it turned to a light snow and some freezing rain by the middle of the day.

The weather service reported unofficial totals of 9.5 inches in Augusta by 2 p.m. and almost 10 inches of snow in Randolph by late morning, the highest report in the capital area.

The Maine Turnpike Authority, at the request of the Maine State Police, reduced speed limits to 45 miles per hour Saturday night for the entire length of the turnpike, from Kittery to exit 109 in Augusta. The lower speed limit was still in effect as of Sunday evening.

The turnpike authority and local dispatchers didn’t report any major accidents or delays in central Maine because of the storm.

“Overall it was pretty safe going,” Dan Morin, spokesman for the authority, said Sunday afternoon.

A dispatcher for Central Maine Regional Communications Center reported multiple accidents but nothing serious. Augusta Police Department reported only minor parking lot accident because of the snow.

The snow spurred the city of Augusta to institute a parking ban from 7 a.m. Sunday morning to 7 a.m. Monday and some area churches to cancel services. The Gardiner Festival of Lights, sponsored by MaineGeneral Hospice Volunteers of Kennebec Valley and scheduled to be held at Christ Episcopal Church in Gardiner, was also canceled.

Paul Koenig — 207-621-5663 [email protected] Twitter: @paul_koenig

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