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Maine's Winter Weather Woes
12/30/2013   Reported By: Tom Porter

Wave after wave of winter weather is continuing to make life difficult for people across the state, thousands of whom are still without power following Sunday's winter storm. Late this afternoon, more than three thousand Mainers were still without power - half as many as there were at the start of the day. But even as repair crews work to turn the lights back on, and snow plows clear the roads, there's a good chance they'll back at it again in a few days.

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This municipal snowplow - clearing a sidewalk in downtown Portland - is one of about two dozen vehicles that have been parading the streets of Maine's largest city since Sunday.
Mike Bobinsky is the City's public works director

Snow Plows in Portland "In this particular storm, which we ended up with just under 4 inches of snow, we had probably 20 to 25 plow trucks that were out, including some special sidewalk tractors."

It's been a tough December in Maine: harsh winter weather doesn't typically arrive here until January or February, but so far the state has had more than two feet of snow as well as a prolonged ice storm.
Bobinsky says Portland is about a third of the way through its million dollar winter weather budget.
He's not panicking yet, but says he will start to worry if the weather carries on like this.

"It would be a concern, I would say, I think so far we've probably had 3 major storms already in December that involved either parking bans, snow removal, maybe I think even a school closing as well, so it is significant."

More than seven thousand people across Maine lost power during the Sunday night snowstorm.
Among them Judy Berk who lives in Northport.
Like many in northern New England though she was prepared.

"We stash a lot of water, we have a lot of food around, we have batteries and candles, we have a non-electric source of heat and cooking, a wood stove and a gas cooktop, and we have cleats for our boots."

Berk had only just had her power restored following a pre-christmas storm, only to have it go out again.
This time though, the repair crews responded more quickly and she had her power back mid-morning on Monday.
Diane Hoppe - who lives in North Whitefield about 10 miles from the coast - is not so fortunate and was still without power Monday afternoon.. But she too was ready for what the Maine winter had to throw at her.

"I live in the woods so I'm used to this type of thing. I have plenty of water.. night-time"

What she's not used to however, is one storm after another - a pattern which looks set to continue, says Meteorologist Russ Murley of Precision Weather Service.

"It looks like we're going to see a snowstorm brewing Thursday into Friday. It's going to be a long duration - a 24 to 36 hour event... a foot."

And he predicts accumuilations in some parts of the state could exceed a foot on top of the 2 feet that's already there.



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