A sloppy mix of snow Thursday that evolved into wet precipitation complicated commutes Friday around central Maine and conditions worsened later in the day.

The resulting poor road conditions closed a number of government offices and gave school children another day off, inching them closer to reaching the number of allotted snow days left in the schedule. Among the school districts with closures were Augusta, Gardiner-based School Administrative District 11 and Hallowell-based Regional School Unit 2.

Pat Hopkins, superintendent of School Administrative District 11, said the school has had five snow days, giving them two more snow days before days would need to be added on to the end of year.

“Being that it is only Feb. 7, I am not confident that we won’t have to make up days,” she said, “but I am hopeful.”

Acting Superintendent of Regional School Unit 2 Mary Paine said her district worked five days into the schedule and Friday was their sixth snow day. She said the district is working to figure out the best way to build that day back into the schedule.

“Looking ahead, we are considering holding a community forum to explore ways to proactively minimize the disruptive effects of multiple school cancellations,” she said.

All state offices were closed Friday, as well as the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta. Municipal offices in Augusta, Belgrade, Farmingdale and Gardiner were closed today, along with a number of public libraries.

Meanwhile, the severe weather was partly to blame for a major Spectrum cable TV and internet outage in the state Friday afternoon and evening. A company official said accessibility to a weather-damaged cable was being hampered by the active ice storm, with roads closed and trees down in that location.

The weather service issued a winter weather advisory for most of central Maine until about 10 p.m. Friday, due to accumulations of up to 2 inches of snow, compounded by up to 5 inches of accumulations from Thursday’s snow. Snow is only half the battle; the weather service forecasted one-tenth to two-tenths of an inch of sleet, and one-tenth to four-tenths of an inch of ice accumulation.

Michael Clair, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Gray, said ice accumulations are staying at the bottom end of the threshold where power outages are expected, but there is just enough ice to cause a few outages.

He said low temperatures Saturday will freeze whatever moisture is left from the storm, with the next chance for melting coming on Monday.

“It’s going to be pretty cold, so any moisture that is going to be left around, it’s going to freeze,” Clair said. “It’s not going anywhere for the next couple of days.”

Central Maine Power said in a news release that line crews and support were reporting for duty early Saturday in anticipation of icy conditions potentially downing tree limbs.

Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency Director Sean Goodwin said the sloppy weather didn’t cause any major motor vehicle accidents Friday. Augusta Fire Department Battalion Chief John Bennett said slippery roads may have caused a tractor-trailer to overturn in Chelsea on Thursday afternoon.

Goodwin said the wet weather will likely not affect flood concerns along the Kennebec River, as there is “a lot of open water” between Augusta and Hallowell. He said smelt camps in Pittston were moved off the ice.

High temperatures were hovering around 32 degrees, with freezing rain and sleet expected in the afternoon Friday. More ice is expected to accumulate overnight, with low temperatures of 13 degrees.


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