Maine Braces for Blizzard Conditions

Maine Governor Janet Mills said Friday that she is encouraging "people to be cautious and careful and to avoid driving if at all possible"

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As of Friday evening, large parts Maine are under a blizzard or winter storm warning, with the entire state under at least a winter weather advisory.

Many businesses, from donut shops to seafood markets to banks have announced they will close for the day on Saturday given the expectation of heavy snowfall and whiteout conditions.

In advance of the approaching storm, which she called "serious," Maine Governor Janet Mills said Friday that she is encouraging "people to be cautious and careful and to avoid driving if at all possible."

Meanwhile, utilities statewide are getting staff ready with Central Maine Power saying it has been preparing for this storm all week. It’s moving workers into places and the company urges people to charge devices in case they experience a power outage.

Kathy Knight, the director of the Northern Light Health Center for Emergency Preparedness, said the health care group’s numerous hospitals and facilities were also getting ready to ensure operation through whatever challenges the weekend weather presented by checking generators and clearing the grounds around buildings to prevent objects from becoming flying debris in high wind.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put a strain on hospital staff, she said the health care group will, as it does during other hazardous weather events, make lodging available within hospitals so that staff can still work if travel conditions become too dangerous.

"We make sure we have accommodations on hand," she said, adding that Northern Light will also make sure "staff have plenty of food and water."

Elsewhere, town officials like Wells Fire Chief, Mark Dupuis, announced road closures in areas that were previously damaged by storms this winter, and as of Friday afternoon, all of the flights into and out of the Portland International Jetport on Saturday had been canceled except for one single departure.

The Amtrak Downeaster rail service had also announced a service reduction for Saturday that included a cancellation of some trains between Maine and Boston on both Saturday and Sunday.

Despite all of these disruptions to daily routines, including city parking bans, a lot of Mainers were ready to embrace a big snowstorm.

Julie Barnes from Wiscasset, who on Friday was trying to complete a run in Portland before the storm, said hoped there was enough snow so that she "can put both my girls behind me" on "a chariot" and cross-country "up Cadillac Mountain on Sunday morning and watch the sunrise."

"Fingers crossed," she said.

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