Crashes were reported across Maine on Wednesday afternoon and evening as a Thanksgiving nor’easter that is expected to drop a foot or more of snow hit the region.

Snow began in Augusta around 12:30 p.m. Tom Hawley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, said by the time the storm ends early Thursday, Kennebec, Franklin and Somerset counties could have between 10 and 14 inches of snow, with scattered snow showers possibly continuing into Thursday .

With temperatures expected to stay around the freezing mark during the storm, Hawley said the storm — dropping a sticky snow that may be heavy at times — could cause scattered power outages from the Augusta area east to the coast, “where the winds might be a bit stronger.”

The storm posed a hazard for those traveling around the state for Thanksgiving. Accidents were reported across Maine, including a fatal crash in Berwick.

Rollovers were also reported in Fairfield, Litchfield, Manchester, Sidney and other places in Kennebec, Somerset and Franklin counties. Chief Deputy Ryan Reardon of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office said there were accidents “all over the place,” and his office had been called to 11 crash scenes by 3:40 p.m.

“People need to slow down and take their time,” Reardon said.

In Hallowell, a car going down Winthrop Street failed to negotiate a right turn onto Warren Street around 3:25 p.m., smashing into a home at the intersection. Nobody was hurt.

In Fairfield, a single-vehicle rollover accident was reported on Middle Road around 3 p.m. There were no injuries reported, although police scanner traffic indicated the driver was trapped in the vehicle after it landed on its side.

Dispatchers at the Somerset County Communications Center said there were other reports of cars sliding off the road Friday afternoon. Franklin County also reported cars off the road, as well as a rollover with possible injuries, according to police scanner traffic.

Gov. Paul LePage closed state offices at 1 p.m. and in a prepared statement urged Mainers to “drive safely as you commute to your destination” over the holiday.

The storm isn’t expected to affect free Thanksgiving meals across the region, but air travel will be affected up and down the eastern seaboard. Augusta State Airport wasn’t spared with four Wednesday flights between Boston and Augusta canceled, according to Cape Air’s website.

There were no parking bans and few cancellations in the area on Wednesday afternoon, but Augusta’s winter parking rules are in effect, banning parking on city streets between midnight and 7 a.m. Bob Gilchrist, operations manager for Waterville Public Works, said while the city’s nighttime street parking ban does not go into effect until Dec. 1, the city is asking drivers not to park on the street during the storm and make way for the snow plows.

“It looks like we’re going to be plowing through the night,” he said.

Morning Sentinel staff writers Kaitlin Schroeder and Rachel Ohm contributed to this report.

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652

[email protected]

Twitter: @mikeshepherdme


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