Storm advisories remained in place for many parts of central Maine late Tuesday after area schools sent students home early and community events were canceled or rescheduled.

Some rain and snow had fallen by late Tuesday afternoon, but not as much as initially predicted, as the National Weather Service revised its forecast. The bulk of the stormy weather was expected to hit Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

“We still have some bands of heavy precipitation that are rotating in from the Gulf of Maine,” said John Canon, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Gray. “It’s definitely here. It’s on our doorstep and is heading for the Waterville and Augusta areas.”

Mixed precipitation was expected to fall throughout the evening Tuesday and change to rain overnight.

The forecast originally had called for up to 5 inches of snow in the Augusta and Waterville areas, but revised forecasts called for mostly rain, with temperatures hovering around freezing.

Six to 12 inches of snow still were expected in the western mountains and several inches in northern areas of Somerset County.

The storm was delayed by about five hours in its path to central Maine, but it still was expected to bring heavy precipitation, Canon said. Rain and freezing rain overnight could cause ice to accumulate on power lines and roads, he said.

“There will be some slick spots, especially as you head north of Waterville. I would advise people to be on the lookout for snow and ice further to the north,” Canon said.

A storm warning will be in effect for western Maine, including parts of Franklin and Somerset counties, until 5 p.m. Wednesday. A weather advisory was in effect for Kennebec County through 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Public works crews in central Maine were ready.

“We pre-treated a lot of the side streets that had some ice accumulation on them already,” said Mark Turner, director of the public works department in Waterville. Trucks with sand and salt were on standby Tuesday night, he said.

“We’re hoping to prevent the buildup of ice. We also hope that the roads won’t flood in the midst of what’s expected to be fairly heavy flooding overnight.”

In Gardiner, Public Works Director Tony LaPlante also said crews pre-treated the roads before freezing rain began falling earlier Tuesday.

“I think we’re in good shape to get everyone home during rush hour, and we’re kind of going to play it by ear,” LePlante said Tuesday afternoon.

The weather service issued a flood watch for parts of Maine, including Kennebec County, through Wednesday afternoon, warning that urban and drainage flooding could occur along with rises in some of the faster-reacting streams.

LePlante said there didn’t appear to be any danger of the Kennebec River or Cobbosseecontee Stream flooding as a result of the rain.

“There’s nothing really remarkable going on,” Mike Smith, director of emergency management services for Somerset County, said Tuesday afternoon. “There were a couple of small fender-benders, but we have those on a normal afternoon anyway.”

Several schools in central Maine announced early dismissals Tuesday and community events were called off or rescheduled as the area braced for the storm.

In Augusta, a Tuesday night Planning Board meeting at which board members were scheduled to consider proposals for a new Starbucks shop and a parking lot for the new courthouse was canceled because of the storm. The meeting will be rescheduled, according to the city staff. A Clinton Board of Selectmen’s meeting, in which officials were expected to discuss single-stream recycling, was rescheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Early dismissals were announced in school districts in Anson, Augusta, Farmington, Madison, Newport, Skowhegan and Waterville.

Kennebec Journal staff writer Paul Koenig contributed to this story.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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