The season’s first snowstorm dumped between 5 and 11 inches of snow across central Maine from Sunday night into Monday, leading to school and government office closures and thousands of power outages.

At 8:45 a.m. Monday, Central Maine Power Co. was reporting more than 9,500 Kennebec County customers without power, with Augusta, Chelsea, China, Pittston, Vassalboro and West Gardiner hit the hardest.

In northern Lincoln County, more than 1,500 people were without power as of midmorning Monday, with nearly 1,000 of them in Whitefield.

Throughout the day, line crews worked to restore power, although by Monday afternoon, about 2,550 people were still without power in Kennebec County, according to CMP.

Public works and emergency responders were called to reports of downed trees and blocked roads, many with no power lines involved.

Sean Goodwin, director of the Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency, said Monday that some communities across the county are having a problem hiring plow truck drivers, which means all roads are not being cleared in a timely fashion.


In West Gardiner, where the Fire Department responded to a report of a chimney fire on Lewiston Road, a tree fell onto Fire Chief Mike Gross’ pickup truck, caving in the roof, hood and fender and shattering the windshield, while he and his firefighters were inside the house.

“It was the weight of the tree, I guess,” Gross said.

The damage to Gross’ pickup truck was one of weather-related accidents Monday, with drivers facing slick conditions in the early morning hours after a rain-snow mix began falling in some areas before temperatures dropped overnight.

In another incident, a two-vehicle head-on crash in Monmouth sent five people to the hospital with what police Chief Paul Ferland described as injuries not considered life-threatening.

The crash occurred at 7:16 a.m. on U.S. Route 202, when a 2010 Chevrolet Equinox driven by Taylor Webster, 24, of Lewiston was traveling eastbound when Webster reportedly lost control and the SUV slid into the westbound travel lane, hitting a 2020 Kia Telluride driven by Matthew Pike, 63, of Grand Prairie, Texas.

U.S. Route 202 was closed to traffic for about an hour due to the crash, which happened near Old Lewiston Road. The two drivers and their passengers were injured.


Meanwhile, public schools across central Maine canceled classes Monday, giving students from Richmond to Skowhegan the first snow day of the season.

Snowfall totals across the region ranged from 5 to 11 inches, according to Sarah Jamison, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray. She said 5 inches was recorded Monday morning in Farmingdale; 6 inches in Augusta; 8 inches in Manchester and Readfield; and 11 inches in Farmington, where totals edged higher in the mountains.

“We’re not looking at more than an inch or two from what we’re reporting now,” Jamison said shortly before 9 a.m. “Generally, we’re looking at heavy, wet, dense snow, with some areas experiencing power outages. We’re in early December — ’tis the season.”

Dean Johnson clears snow from his granddaughter’s driveway in Randolph shortly after noon Monday. The first snow of the season, which closed schools and some government offices, caused power outages across central Maine. Jessica Lowell/Kennebec Journal

More snow continued to fall throughout Monday, with Augusta eventually logging another 2 inches for a total of 8 inches, and Farmingdale getting about another inch, totaling about 6 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Throughout the rest of the region, snowfall totals were mostly unchanged from the morning.

While snow showers continued throughout the day and into the evening, they were expected to taper off, Sarah Thunberg, a meteorologist with National Weather Service in Gray, said later in the day.

Winter weather warnings and advisories were allowed to expire at 1 p.m. Monday.

The first blast of snow is likely to be it for a while. Thunberg said there is a slight chance of snow showers in central Maine from Tuesday night into Wednesday as a storm system slides by to the south. After that, the weather is expected to be clear through the end of week.

Managing Editor Scott Monroe and staff writer Keith Edwards contributed to this report.

Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story