Recent back-to-back storms had the snow piling up in central Maine and more came overnight into Thursday, but the rain that followed made for a messy day and left heavy slush that was difficult to clear away.

“We were pretty far behind on snow for a bit, but this week we certainly caught up with it,” Andy Pohl, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, said Thursday.

While towns such as Jackman, in northern Somerset County, and Manchester, in Kennebec County, got about 6 inches of snow overnight, and Farmington, in Franklin County, got 5.1 inches, the rain that followed wiped away much of that accumulation.

“We got the snow, but it compressed because of the rain, and now we have a big slushy mess,” Pohl said.

Kingfield got about 7 inches of snow, but after the rain, precipitation there was 1.04 inches, according to Pohl.

“The snow came in pretty hard and heavy from about 8 p.m. to 2 or 3 a.m., depending on where you were,” he said.


The latest storm pass through the region left behind messy streets Thursday. The storm also led some school districts to cancel classes while others delayed the start of the school day. A bus is shown picking up students Thursday on Water Street in Waterville, where there was a two-hour delay. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Pohl said temperatures will turn frigid, with lows overnight into Friday at about 15 degrees. The high Friday is forecast to be 30 degrees, with temperatures dropping to about 10 Friday night.

“That’s going to freeze everything up,” he said.

A system is expected to come in over the weekend with a chance of light snow, he said.

While several central Maine schools closed Thursday, Waterville Public Schools and Regional School Unit 18, which includes schools in Oakland, Belgrade, Rome, Sidney and China, had a two-hour delay. Maine School Administrative Districts 49, based in Fairfield, and 54, based in Skowhegan, were closed, as were those in Unity-based Regional School Unit 3. Winslow schools also were closed.

In Waterville, work crews were doing well with what Public Works Director Matt Skehan called a very messy storm.

Brenda Whitney shovels the driveway of her home Thursday on Water Street in Waterville. The rain at her home started around 3 a.m. according to Whitney. She said she shoveled three inches of heavy snow by mid morning. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“We were disappointed it turned over to rain so quickly,” Skehan said, adding that crews started clearing main arteries just after midnight and a full crew was working by 3 a.m.


The Public Works crew, plus parks and recreation employees, went out to unclog storm drains, according to Skehan, who also is director of Parks and Recreation Department.

“They’re almost all cleared now,” he said just after 11 a.m. Thursday. “They’re just taking the time to drain now, so we’re not worried about flooding.”

Skehan said his department has taken a lot of “somewhat negative calls” from people about sidewalks not being cleared, and he wanted to urge patience.

Brady Wade, 5, scoops slush Thursday with his father, Tim, outside their home in Gardiner. The snow day prompted the Wades to go outside. “I do like to play in the snow,” Brady said. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

“We have three relatively new machines that are super powerful and efficient,” he said. “It just takes a lot of time to clear sidewalks.”

He said employees work by a priority list and clearing sidewalks around schools comes first and the major walking routes on Main Street, College Avenue and First Rangeway come next.

“It’s a huge priority of ours,” Skehan said. “We do the best we can. It takes a lot of time. People need to be patient.”

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