Winter Storm Preparedness Update
February 8, 2013
A major winter storm bringing blizzard conditions has begun to affect Maine. The National Weather Service is issuing blizzard warnings and winter storm warnings and advisories for central, southern, western and downeast Maine.
According to the NWS, a large portion of southern and western Maine will see a foot or more of snow, with localized amounts approaching two feet or more. In Blizzard Warning areas, strong winds will produce dangerous white-out conditions.
- Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories are in place in much of the State
- Blizzard Warnings in place for the entire coastline, and inland to Androscoggin, Kennebec and southern Oxford Counties.
- The full force of the storm will begin to arrive Friday afternoon, exact timing depending on your location, and will last well into Saturday.
- Coastal Flood Warning is also posted for the southern coast from 4 am Saturday to 2 pm Saturday, as strong winds are expected to push storm surge onshore.
- Blowing and drifting snow will reduce visibility and make travel extremely treacherous.
- Latest NWS Southern and Western Winter Storm statement (Gray forecast area)
- Latest NWS Coastal Flooding statement(Gray Forecast area)
- Latest NWS Eastern and Northern Winter storm statement (Caribou forecast area)
- State Emergency Operations Center will be partially staffed overnight as a precaution, in the event state resources are needed to assist local jurisdictions.
- Road crews across the state are prepared to deal with the heavy snow; Mainers can assist them by staying off the roads
- Due to the inclement weather, all State offices closed at 3:00 pm on Friday.
- Maine’s electrical utilities report that they have activated their storm plans and have crews and equipment ready to respond in case of power outages.
- Emergency managers in coastal communities are monitoring low-lying areas for coastal flooding and are prepared to restrict access to dangerous areas or take other protective actions if needed.
Key Safety Messages:
- Pay attention. Storm conditions and timing will differ depending on where you are.
- Stay off the roads; allow plow crews to do their work.
- If you lose power, use emergency generators and alternate heat sources safely. Run generators outside at least 15 feet away from windows, doors and vents. More generator safety information
- Keep outside vents for heaters and stoves clear of snow, as clogged vents may also pose carbon monoxide dangers.
- If you see a downed power line, stay away from it, and notify the electric utility.
- Respect any local road closures or access restrictions to coastal areas.
- If you live in an area vulnerable to coastal flood, be prepared to take emergency action if necessary. Follow all instructions issued by local authorities.
After the storm, take care as you begin to dig out and clean up:
- Be careful when shoveling snow. Over-exertion can bring on heart problems or back injuries. Use your snowblower safely: ...more from Safety Works, Maine Department of Labor
- Protect yourself by dressing for the season, wearing several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing, rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
- Keep travel to a minimum. Be especially careful at intersections, as high snow banks may block your view of traffic
- Help dig out fire hydrants and storm drains in your neighborhood.
- Clear snow from house and barn roofs and watch out for snow falling from roofs. Keep all vents clear, and protect outside oil tanks from falling snow and ice. ...more from the Department of Environmental Protection
- Look around for neighbors and friends who may need help to clear steps, driveways and roofs.
For More Information:
Weather information and safety tips:
- MainePrepares.com: Forecasts and safety messages
- Carbon Monoxide Safety Message from the MaineCDC
- Sign up for weather alerts and other MEMA news
Travel information and road conditions:
- Visit 511maine.gov
- Dial 511 or 1-866-282-7578 (toll-free)
- Sign up for Maine DOT e-mail traffic alerts
- Maine DOT's Winter Driving Tips