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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > Winter Storm Continues to Roar: Travel Restriction Still Advised

Winter Storm Continues to Roar: Travel Restriction Still Advised

 

December 27, 2010

9:00 AM

 

AUGUSTA, MAINE – Blizzard warnings remain in effect for most of Maine, with Winter Storm Warnings in place for the western mountains. The National Weather Service advised the Maine Emergency Management Agency, County Emergency Management, state response agencies and utilities this morning in a conference call that the storm remains dangerous. Mainers should not travel today unless it is absolutely necessary.

MEMA and all response partners join the NWS Gray and Caribou Forecast Offices in urging all Mainers and visitors to stay off the roads, pay close attention to weather warnings, and stay safe.

Maine DOT reports that all major routes are passable. Speed limits have been reduced to 45 mph on Interstate highways. However, DOT continues to advise that travel be restricted. DOT appreciates the continuing cooperation of all Mainers and visitors in staying off the roads so plow operators can do their work.

Ferry service in most locations has been suspended; ferry captains have the authority to suspend operations in dangerous conditions. Check locally for the status of specific ferry routes.

York and Cumberland Counties, Portland and South Portland report no major coastal flooding problems at the time of high tide this morning. NWS advises some minor coastal splashover is again possible with the high tide this afternoon.

The State Emergency Operations Center was activated throughout the night with minimal staffing to monitor the progress of the storm. Governor John Baldacci yesterday declared a State of Emergency to ensure that all state resources would be available for storm response. That State of Emergency remains in effect.

Safety for all Mainers and visitors remains the primary goal:

  1. Stay off the roads today unless travel is absolutely necessary. Whiteout conditions, strong winds, low visibility, blowing and drifting snow will all make for extremely hazardous driving. Leave the roads to the snowplows.
  2. Pay attention. Stay “tuned in” to your best source of weather information to stay up to date on the latest predictions for the storm. Up to date weather warnings are posted at http://www.maineprepares.com
  3. If you lose power, use emergency generators and alternate heat sources safely. Run generators outside and away from windows, doors and vents. Misplaced generators (such as placed in or near the door of a garage or window) are a major cause of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that can silently kill.
  4. Remember to keep outside vents for heaters and stoves clear of snow, as clogged vents may also pose carbon monoxide dangers. .
  5. Check on neighbors and friends who may not be as well prepared.
  6. If you see a downed power line, stay away from it, and notify the electric utility.
  7. If you are in an area that is vulnerable to coastal flooding, stay aware of any local conditions, and cooperate with any local road closures or other emergency measures.

Special Safety message about Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

Warning signs of CO poisoning are flu symptoms like headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion, but without a fever. If you or anyone in the home thinks you are being poisoned by carbon monoxide:

  • Leave the house at once.
  • Call 911.
  • Get medical attention. Call the Poison Center (1-800-222-1222) or your doctor after you leave the house.
  • Stay out of the building until the fire department tells you it is safe.

For more information on storm safety and preparedness, visit http://www.maineprepares.com Road conditions can be found at http://511maine.gov

 

Contact:

MEMA
624-4400

 

Last update: 07/20/10