BANGOR, Maine — For the second time in three days, Mainers found themselves digging out from a snowstorm.
The Thursday storm arrived on the heels of a storm that began Tuesday night and continued into Wednesday, dumping nearly a foot in parts of the state.
As of early Thursday evening, nearly 900 school, business, government and church cancellations and early closures had been announced, including the noon closure of all state government offices.
Some places expected to be hit hardest were York County — where as much as 16 inches of snow was forecast — and the Down East region, which will see its first major snow event so far this season.
The Thursday storm was the fiercest that the northeastern United States has seen so far this winter, according to Reuters. New York received about a foot of snow, and Boston was braced for up to 20 inches.
The storm, which was accompanied by winds of up to 50 mph, was blamed for two fatalities along the Eastern seaboard.
One of the deaths occurred in Virginia, where a truck driver died after his tractor-trailer was blown off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, and the other was in New York City, where a doorman died while shoveling snow, Reuters reported.
As of early Thursday evening, however, no deaths had been reported in Maine.
While Thursday’s storm wasn’t the worst in terms of snowfall for some parts of Maine, that was not expected to be the case Down East, according to Francis Kredensor of the National Weather Service Office in Caribou.
“It’ll be a decent storm, especially for Down East. This is going to be their first true solid taste of snow this year,” he said.
“Snow lovers down there have not had much to be happy about so far this season because it seems like every time they’ve had snow down there, it’s turned into a rain event, so it gets ruined. This is the first one where I think it’s going to be all snow for Down East,” Kredensor said.
He added that up to a foot was expected to fall there.
Kredensor also noted that the storm was expected to ratchet down Thursday night.
“It looks like for the Bangor area, things could start winding down by perhaps 9 or 10 p.m.,” he said. “It’ll hold on until at least midnight for Washington County, so it’ll be ending from west to east.”
He added, however, that there could be a stray shower in northern Maine or along the eastern border.
Also expected to see 8 to 12 inches of snow Thursday were parts of Oxford, Franklin, Somerset, Cumberland, Androscoggin, Kennebec, Waldo, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln and Knox counties, while parts of Penobscot and Washington counties were expected to see 6 to 9 inches of snow before the storm moved east out of Maine late Thursday night, according to the weather service.
Northern Oxford, Franklin and Penobscot counties, central Somerset County, southern Piscataquis and much of Penobscot counties were expected to receive 3 to 6 inches of snow.
The combination of heavy snow and high winds Thursday resulted in dicey travel conditions, particularly on the Maine Turnpike, where traffic was delayed because of crashes in Augusta, where traffic was reduced to one lane after a collision involving two tractor-trailers and a car that did not result in serious injuries, as well as between Exit 75 in Auburn and the New Gloucester Barrier Toll, between Exit 103 in West Gardiner and the end of the Maine Turnpike, and between Exit 32 in Biddeford and Exit 25 in Kennebunk, according to the Maine Turnpike Authority.
Flying wasn’t much better.
Both of Maine’s major airports were at near standstill as most scheduled arriving and departing flights were canceled because of the weather.
At Bangor International Airport, all but three of the 13 of Thursday’s scheduled arriving and departing flights had been canceled because of the storm.
The scene was similar at Portland International Jetport, where all but three of the 22 flights scheduled for the day were canceled.
Maine can expect a short breather before the next significant snow event is expected to arrive.
“Sunday night into Monday there’s definitely the chance for a significant event,” Kredensor said. “It’s a little early to give snow totals, but it certainly does look like there’s a good chance of significant winter precipitation.”
Reuters contributed to this report this report.