Lucian Kolreg shovels snow to clear a path Sunday for diners and others in front of OPA, a restaurant at 139 Main St. in Waterville. Kolreg, who works at the restaurant, says he is opening the path to make it easier for those with canes to get from the street to the sidewalk. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

After central Maine enjoyed an early taste of spring, a storm brought wintry weather back to the region Saturday, although the area was mostly spared the widespread power outages reported in other parts of the state.

Central Mainers awoke Sunday morning to up to 2 feet of snow in some areas, and an icy mess in others.

“Some places got absolutely crushed,” Maura Casey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Gray, said.

Snowfall from the storm was likely the greatest from a single storm this winter in many parts of the state after a mild winter, Casey said, although snow totals vary by location.

“It seems like it is based on how little snow we got the rest of the season,” Casey said.

Snowfall totals were the highest farther north and into the mountains, where snow remained light and fluffy.


In Somerset County, the weather service reported a total of 19 inches in New Portland, 19 inches in Solon and 17 inches in Cornville. Casey estimated more than 2 feet fell in The Forks area, with potentially up to 3 feet in areas of the western Maine mountains.

The bigger mess was farther south and along the coast, including in parts of Kennebec County, where the storm switched over to sleet and freezing rain Saturday afternoon and evening.

“In general, this system was a little bit colder than we had forecasted a day or two in advance,” Casey said. “The sleet made it up as far north just about to the Kennebec-Somerset line, with freezing rain coming into the southern part of (Kennebec County) up to Augusta.”

Casey estimated that in southern Kennebec County, between a half-inch and 1 1/2 inches of sleet fell on top of about a half-foot of snow. Snowfall came in at 8.1 inches in Gardiner and 6.5 inches in Vassalboro, with totals closer to a foot on the northern side of the county, according to the National Weather Service.

That mix of precipitation was making for a difficult cleanup Sunday morning. Officials in some communities, including Augusta, warned the cleanup effort could require a substantial amount of time.

“Everybody refers to it as cement out there, it’s so hard,” Lesley Jones, director of the Augusta Public Works Department, said Sunday morning. “We’re struggling. It’s heavy. We have a veteran driver who said the sleet made it so heavy he’d never plowed anything like it.”


Jones said Augusta got about 6 inches of snow and 2 inches of sleet, making cleanup a battle. She said the combination of wintry precipitation was so heavy it pushed large plow trucks around.

“Mother Nature has not been kind to us,” Jones said. “To get this at the end of March is not very good. You expect this in January.”

Augusta had a full plowing crew Saturday and about two-thirds of a crew Sunday, with relief drivers and city workers from the Bureau of Parks & Recreation helping to clear the crusty, compacted snow and ice.

Sean Goodwin, director of the Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency, said Sunday the heavy, packed snow presented challenges for those shoveling driveways. He said he had not heard of road closures in Kennebec County.

Most of central Maine was spared widespread power outages, according to Central Maine Power Co.

“We didn’t get the ice,” Goodwin said. “We had some pretty good wind, but we didn’t have a lot of sticky snow on the lines. That saved us from having power outages.”


As of 10 a.m. Sunday, CMP was reporting about 185,000 customers were without power statewide, mostly in southern and coastal counties. At that time, CMP was reporting fewer than 200 outages in Kennebec and Somerset counties.

“I was pretty happy with that,” Mike Smith, deputy director of the Somerset County Emergency Management Agency, said. “I think we were pretty fortunate that it was all snow.”

Officials said roadways were slippery Saturday.

In Readfield in Kennebec County, the driver of a pickup truck crashed head-on into a plow truck and came to a stop in an inlet of Maranacook Lake, the Maine State Police reported in a social media post.

Despite road conditions, many events planned for Saturday, including annual town meetings, Maine Maple Sunday Weekend and a youth karate competition in Waterville, went on as planned.

On Sunday, sunny skies returned to much of the region. Warmer temperatures in the mid-40s and rain are expected from Tuesday through Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Casey said flooding from melting snow is not a concern at this point.

“The way it’s looking right now, it looks like more of an unsettled, showery, warm, ‘get a couple rain showers each day’ situation between late Tuesday through Friday,” Casey said. “It doesn’t look like any kind of a washout.”

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