Snow, Snow, Snow Moves in for the Weekend
December 31, 2009
AUGUSTA, MAINE -- State officials are monitoring a potentially significant storm which will impact the state throughout this holiday weekend.
According to the National Weather Service, a complex winter storm is bringing the potential for heavy snow and gusty winds Friday into the upcoming weekend. Coastal areas will also see higher tides than normal, as the storm adds to already elevated astronomical high tides.
The NWS has posted Winter Storm Watches for Friday morning through Sunday afternoon in southern and central areas, and Friday afternoon through Sunday night in northern and eastern Maine. In advance of the major part of the storm, light snow New Year’s Eve will mean slick roads in many areas.
The Maine Emergency Management Agency is offering a few tips for storm safety:
- Stay informed: Listen to your radio, television, or NOAA Weather Radio for weather reports and emergency information as the storm progresses. The final track of the storm is still uncertain, and conditions could change rapidly.
- For coastal residents, stay alert for concerns about coastal flooding in your area, and comply with any local public safety recommendations.
- Check on neighbors and friends who may need help weathering the storm.
- If you lose power, and use a generator, use it ONLY outdoors, never in a basement or attached garage. Carbon monoxide kills.
- Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.
If you are driving
- Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive, consider the following:
- Travel in the day, don’t travel alone, and keep others informed of your schedule.
- Stay on main roads; avoid back road shortcuts.
- Drive slowly and carefully. Maintain a safe distance behind other cars.
- Especially New Year’s Eve, watch out for "the other guy, and take care not to BE “the other guy”.
If you must be outdoors
- Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.
- Dress in layers -- air gets trapped in between layers of clothes and helps keep you warm. If you are exercising outside (whether it's shoveling or splitting wood), you can take off a layer, and then put it back on when you start to cool down.
- Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly. Avoid cotton as your first layers, as it retains moisture; a synthetic that wicks away sweat works best next to the skin.
After the storm
- Clear snow from your roof, to avoid damage from the weight of the snow.
- Clear snow away from all chimneys and vents, to prevent carbon monoxide buildup inside your house.
- Clear snow away from outside fuel storage tanks, and the filler pipes for your oil tank
- Offer to help neighbors and friends who might need help shoveling out
Important phone numbers and web sites:
- Urgent emergency assistance: Dial 911
- Road conditions: Dial 511 or visit http://www.511maine.gov
- Report downed lines and power outages: Your electrical utility
- Emergency shelter locations and other safety resources: Dial 211
- Safety and preparedness information, and links to weather forecasts: http://www.maineprepares.com