A storm unleashed 2 feet or more of snow across Maine overnight into Tuesday morning, bringing with it the first true blizzard conditions we’ve seen this winter.
It comes on the heels of another nasty storm that on Thursday dumped a foot or more of snow throughout much of the state.
But snowstorms are a fact of life in Maine, and we’ve survived our share of nor’easters and blizzards. So here’s a look at back a few of nastiest storms in recent memory.
A blizzard on Jan. 27, 2015, brought nearly two feet of snow in some parts of Maine — including about 16 inches in Greater Bangor — shutting down transportation systems across the state, with all flights out of Bangor International Airport and the Portland International Jetport canceled for the day, along with Concord Coach Lines bus service and Downeaster Amtrak service.
Winter 2015 left a lot of Mainers weary as back-to-back snowstorms lasting until April gave Bangor its second snowiest winter on record in 2015, with about 137 inches of snow. The record for Bangor was set in 1963, when about 182 inches fell on the Queen City. In The County, Caribou also saw one of its snowiest winters on record.
Poor Eastport was buried under nearly 200 inches of snow.
In February 2013, a strong weekend blizzard ahead of Valentine’s Day dumped a record 32 inches of snow in Portland, where the storm’s high winds — with gusts that approached 70 miles per hour along the coast — were blamed for blowing in a second-story window above Longfellow Books, causing a pipe to freeze and burst, raining water down on the books below.
Further north, those high-blowing winds also obscured visibility on Interstate 95 near Old Town for a state plow truck driver, who drove off the edge of the roadway.
“The driver kind of lost track of the road because of the whiteout conditions,” Ted Talbot, the spokesman for the Maine Department of Transportation, told the BDN at the time. “It clearly was a visibility issue.”
A decade ago, the National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for much of the state, and then-Gov. John Baldacci declared a state of emergency as a powerful winter storm packing heavy snow, strong wind gusts and dangerous seas arrived on Valentine’s Day.
The storm — the Valentine’s Day Blizzard of 2007 — started off with light snow in the morning that intensified as the day progressed. In the afternoon, heavy snow fell at rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour with near-zero visibility. Gusting winds of 30 to 40 mph caused drifting snow and whiteouts.
In all, up to 2 feet of snow fell across the western Maine mountains and foothills before the storm ended, while other inland areas away from the coast saw between 12 and 18 inches.
Airlines canceled all flights at Portland International Jetport and afternoon flights at Bangor International Airport. National media reported that at least 11 deaths across the Northeast were blamed on the storm.
There have been plenty of historic whoppers, but there is at least one more worth noting.
On Dec. 30, 1962, the forecast for Bangor had called for “ occasional snow or flurries,” so imagine the Queen City’s surprise when more than 25 inches of snow fell in a single day, the highest daily tally in the history of climate records in Maine at the time.
Residents were left utterly unprepared for the onslaught.
A pregnant woman went into labor during the storm, tied on her boots, and walked several blocks to the hospital before giving birth. Another mother and her six children were rescued from their Dixmont home by a soldier on a snowmobile.
Plows traveled from more than a hundred miles away to help clear away the 20-foot drifts of new snow.