A nor’easter Saturday and Sunday dumped wet, heavy snow across central Maine in the first significant storm of the season, knocking out power to thousands of Central Maine Power Co. customers, downing trees and wires and sending vehicles off slick roads.

Snow totals were less than expected in Kennebec, Somerset and Franklin counties, according to the National Weather Service in Gray.

Waterville (Kennebec County) received 6 inches and Farmington (Franklin County) 3.6 inches, according to meteorologist William Watson.

Also in Kennebec County, Augusta received 4 inches, Farmingdale 4.2 inches and Readfield 7.5 inches.

South China received the most snow — 8 inches — in Kennebec County, according to Watson.

Watson said just before 11 a.m. Sunday the area near Rockwood received the most snow — 8.5 inches — in Somerset County.

“It looks like the least I got (in Somerset County) is probably 5 inches near Harmony,” he said.

In northern Franklin County, Rangeley was socked with with 13.5 inches of snow and Stratton with 11.5 inches, according to Watson.

Multiple cars sit Saturday night in the ditch along the China Road in Winslow as the season’s first major snowstorm blankets central Maine. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“It definitely cranked in the afternoon yesterday,” Watson said of the snowfall, noting it also picked up in the evening.

“I think we got the higher amounts in the right spots, but I think that we over forecasted a little bit,” Watson said.

“There likely was some melting and some compacting going on, especially overnight, once the rates slowed from during the day. That didn’t help the totals.”

By late Sunday morning, 22,933 of the 72,501 Central Maine Power Co. customers in Kennebec County were still without power, according to the utility.

In Franklin County, 13,868 of 23,509 customers experienced outages, and in Somerset County, 13,907 of 30,345 customers were without power.

Customer outages in Kennebec County included 2,625 in Belgrade, 1,328 in Oakland, 1,023 in Winslow, 841 in Vassalboro, 835 in Augusta, 675 in Clinton and 529 in Waterville.

In Somerset, 1,485 CMP customers in Skowhegan were without power, 1,221 in Canaan, 926 in Embden, 796 in Norridgewock and 600 in Athens.

Franklin County had 13,868 power outages, including 3,073 in Farmington, 844 in Kingfield, 531 in New Sharon and 496 in New Vineyard.

Sean Goodwin, director of the Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency, said power outages Sunday morning were his main concern.

“We have some towns that are totally out of power,” Goodwin said.

At 9 a.m. Sunday, 2,313 Winthrop residents were without power. They began regaining power later in the morning, with 1,375 still without electricity by 11 a.m.

Winslow police and an employee from Kim’s Garage & Towing help remove cars from a ditch Saturday night along the China Road. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

As of 11 a.m., 1,445 Pittston residents were also without power.

Sources at the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office communications center said they were flooded with calls Sunday morning and unable to comment on storm matters.

The sheriff’s dispatch log Saturday into Sunday, however, listed many calls for trees and wires down throughout the county, including in Athens, Fairfield, Harmony, Hartland, Madison, Norridgewock, Skowhegan and Solon.

A dispatcher at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said at 10:25 a.m. Sunday the county had experienced power outages and downed power lines, but she did not know of any serious automobile accidents.

An Augusta dispatcher confirmed there were more accidents and calls than usual because of the storm.

Crews clear the parking lot Saturday night at the Hathaway Creative Center in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Watson of the National Weather Service said the weather was expected to clear Monday, with better weather and temperatures possibly hitting the 40s later in the week.

“Winds will calm down, too,” Watson said.

Matt Skehan, director of the Waterville Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments, said Sunday he was pleased with his experienced crew’s handling of the storm.

He said there was little property damage despite the wet, heavy snow.

“There were a handful of cars in The Concourse after hours that needed to be towed, which is unfortunate, (and we’re) hoping folks do better next time adhering to the ban,” said Skehan, who is in his first year as running the Public Works Department.

“I’m anxious to meet with the crew (Monday) morning to get their thoughts on how things went from their perspective, and how we can do better next time. A big thank-you to our entire crew, including Highway Superintendent Karl Morse for leading the operation.”

Skowhegan Road Commissioner Greg Dore said Sunday roads were slippery and some highway trucks had difficulty getting up certain hills.

“We had several trees across the roads, which slowed us down and for a while,” Dore said. “We couldn’t get out the Back Road, Varney Road and the Rowe Road.

“The Middle Road was blocked for a while. There was a car sideways on Clark’s Hill, making it impossible for our truck to get through. The wet, heavy snow, plus the ground not being frozen, made it very difficult for the crew.

“Once we finished our first trip around and got the roads treated, everything pretty much went well. Most of the roads were clear (Sunday) morning. The other challenge we had (Saturday) night was that we had three new drivers and this was the first snow storm that they had plowed.”

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.