People walk on the road to avoid ice and slush on the sidewalks in Bangor Tuesday. The morning snow changed to freezing rain and later heavy rain was falling in the region. Credit: Gabor Degre

A wet mix of winter precipitation blowing through Maine is expected to continue through the afternoon in much of the state, making roads slick and travel difficult, according to forecasters.

In southern and western Maine, more than 14,000 Central Maine Power customers were without electricity around midday Tuesday.

Overnight snow and sleet switched over to rain Tuesday morning along the coast, reducing concerns about ice accumulation near the ocean. A wind advisory and a flood watch are expected to remain in effect in eastern Maine until late Tuesday. In the Bangor area, the switch to rain occurred by early Tuesday afternoon.

Freezing rain and sleet are expected to persist in the Katahdin region, in inland portions of southern Maine and in the western mountains, making travel hazardous.

“Periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties,” forecasters with the National Weather Service said in a winter weather advisory. “Be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.”

Snow and ice are projected to continue in far northern Maine on Tuesday until after midnight, with up to a foot of snowfall in some areas since Monday.

The wintry mix further south is expected to dissipate Tuesday first along the eastern coast, and then by late afternoon or early evening further west and inland. Mixed precipitation in the Portland area was expected to shift fully to rain by 2 p.m.

NWS meteorologist Eric Schwibs said there could be up to a third of an inch of ice buildup in central Maine and New Hampshire. The ice buildup will be least in northern areas, where the snow is heaviest, and along the coast, which will see more rain.

More than 14,600 Central Maine Power customers were without electricity around midday Tuesday, with more than 5,000 in Cumberland County and nearly 4,500 in York County. In Windham, a car slid into a utility pole Tuesday morning, knocking out power for more than 1,500 homes and businesses. The driver was hospitalized.

Emera reported 230 customers without electricity in Trenton, but had fewer than a half-dozen more without power elsewhere.

Dozens of schools and school districts in Maine closed or opened late because of the weather.

The wet weather has accompanied an uptick in temperatures from the 20s on Monday into the 40s along the eastern coast. Temperatures in the Portland and Bangor areas still hovered around freezing mid-Tuesday afternoon.

Along the eastern coast, from Knox County to the Canadian border, a wind advisory will remain in effect through late Tuesday. Wind speeds between 15 and 30 mph are expected, with gusts as strong as 50 mph, according to the weather service.

A flood watch in eastern Maine, from coastal Hancock and Washington counties inland as far Dover-Foxcroft and Danforth, is expected to remain in effect until late Tuesday night. Forecasters warn that the rain could result in ice jams in rivers and streams, clogging the flow of water downstream and causing it to back up into low-lying areas.

Wednesday is expected to be sunny in most of Maine, with possible lingering morning snow showers in the far north, with temperatures in the mid- to high 30s.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....