AUGUSTA — A steady accumulation of snow, coupled with below-freezing temperature, hampered early morning commutes Monday across central Maine and led to some crashes across the region.

The weather service reported that southern areas of the state received up to 4 inches by 10 a.m., while sections of Kennebec County received 2.5 to 3 inches by late morning. A winter weather advisory was in effect for eastern, central and northern parts of the state until 4 p.m. Monday.

Augusta police Sgt. Christian Behr said his department was dealing with an increased number of slide-offs because of the weather. He said there had been no major accidents, largely because of slower residential and business district speed limits.

“People aren’t going that fast,” he said. “Drive slow and make sure you leave as much space (as possible) between cars.”

Road conditions cleared up around midday when snowfall slowed down and 32-degree high temperature allowed snow to melt.

Behr said conditions were likely to worsen as snow continued through the day and temperature dropped to about 20 degrees at night, with wind gusts of up to 30 mph. The high in Waterville was 32 degrees on Monday, and Tuesday’s high is projected to be 25 degrees, according to the weather service.

“Where it’s slowly falling all day, it’s just going to continue to be slippery and slushy,” Behr said.

Somerset County Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Smith said roads in Skowhegan were clear around 2 p.m., but his employees said roads linking Franklin and Somerset counties were sloppy in the morning.

Smith said there were about 30 minor crashes in the county by 2 p.m. He said the number is fairly standard for a snowy day.

“It’s been nothing out of the ordinary,” he said. “(Cars) went off the road, got stuck in a ditch.”

Tom Hawley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, told the Portland Press Herald that snow was expected to stop by noontime in southern Maine. Other areas of the state were expecting snow through the afternoon. He said Downeast Maine would get the brunt of the storm.

An additional 2 to 4 inches was expected to accumulate through the afternoon in Kennebec County, with a chance of rain later on.

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666

[email protected]

Twitter: @SamShepME

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