Blizzard delivers 11 inches to Portland; woman and dogs survive tree crashing on home - petsitterbank

Blizzard delivers 11 inches to Portland; woman and dogs survive tree crashing on home

Maine’s first blizzard in years delivered less snow in some spots than expected, but still plenty to shovel.

Strong winds did not result in widespread power outages as feared, but a Raymond home was severely damaged when a tree snapped and crashed through the home.

Portland received 11 inches of snow, said National Weather Service meteorologist Michael Clair.

Jonathan LeBlanc uses a snow blower to clear his driveway and sidewalk Sunday after Saturday’s winter storm. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

The “most snow” prize goes to Bath-Brunswick, which received 18 to 20 inches, Clair said. “Lewiston-Auburn got close to a foot, and Augusta 14 to 15 inches.”

The blizzard carried heavy snow bands that were at times localized, which is why some areas got significantly more than others, Clair said. The snow fell all day Saturday. Steady snow in Portland began around 7 am and continued through 11 pm, Clair said.

As forecast, the late afternoon saw the worst conditions. The storm officially became a blizzard around 2:30 pm when there had been three hours of wind gusts over 35 miles per hour, steady snowfall, and visibility of less than a quarter of a mile.

Those conditions actually lasted in Portland for four hours, Clair said. Wind tastes whistled and moaned and reached a high of 59 miles an hour in Portland. “You could hear it in the trees,” Clair said.

A home in Raymond was the victim of high winds when a large pine tree snapped and crashed down directly on a home on Brown Road, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. No one received serious injuries, the sheriff’s office said.

At 3:30 pm, the tree fell on the home with four occupants and two dogs inside.

The tree came down through the roof, injuring a 45-year-old woman struck by fallen debris, the sheriff’s office said in a press release.

“The other occupants pulled her from the wreckage. One of the dogs was safely removed; a second remained trapped in debris.”

The woman suffered minor cuts and bruises but otherwise was not significantly injured, the sheriff’s office said. She was not transported to the hospital.

Sheriff deputies and Raymond Fire Department rescue workers breached a window, cleared debris and found the second dog, who was trapped but not injured. The dog had been asleep in a chair when the tree crashed, and the chair actually shielded the dog from being struck or crushed with debris, the sheriff’s office said.

Brown Road was closed for several hours, but was open by 6:30 pm

Despite strong wind gusts, power outages were less than feared, largely due to the fact the snow was light and fluffy.

Saturday night Central Maine Power reported that 1,721 of its 661,775 customers in southern and central Maine were without power Saturday. As of Sunday morning, CMP reported 376 customers were without power, the bulk in Lincoln County.

“We never had a great number,” CMP spokeswoman Catharine Hartnett said Sunday. “Through the course of the day we had about a total of 7,800 customers impacted. And that was not a peak, that was people losing power and us restoring it.”

The high number of outages CMP prepared for didn’t happen, she said. “That’s great. We didn’t have the number of outages that this level of wind can bring.”

For snow enthusiasts, the snow should stick around for a while.

“It doesn’t look like we’re having much melting any time soon. It’s going to stay plenty cold,” Clair said.

Later in the week, Wednesday and Thursday, temperatures could get into the low 40s, he said.

“We’re watching another storm late in the week. We don’t know if it’s going to be rain, snow or a mix.” That storm could arrive late Thursday and into Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

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