A late-season storm dumped heavy, wet snow across Maine, knocking out power to more than a quarter-million homes and businesses Friday morning, officials said.
The toppled trees and power lines only added to the misery for tens of thousands of Mainers told to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Democratic Gov. Janet Mills closed state offices because of the storm and urged people not to leave their homes.
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“I thank all Maine people for rising to the new challenge of a spring snowstorm in the middle of a pandemic by staying at home and traveling only when absolutely necessary so our first responders and road crews can work safely,” the governor said in a statement.
The storm left a foot or more of snow overnight on parts of the state, and the heavy snow caused trees and tree limbs to snap, said Hunter Tubbs from the National Weather Service.
“The sheer weight of the snow is enough to bring down a lot of trees and power lines,” he said.
All of northern New England experienced snow. But the power failures were mostly in Maine, where about 200,000 Central Maine Power customers were in the dark and another 53,000 Emera Maine customers were without electricity, officials said.
The snow began Thursday afternoon and was expected to wind down by midday on Friday, Tubbs said. It will be followed by strong wind gusts that could hamper power restoration, he said.
Much of the snow will quickly melt in the southern part of the state with temperatures climbing into the 40s, he said.