Here Comes the Snow: Get Ready to Weather the Storm

 

February 7, 2013

3:00 PM

 

AUGUSTA, MAINE – The National Weather Service is advising that a major winter storm will be affecting Maine Friday and Saturday. According to the NWS, a large portion of southern and western Maine will see a foot or more of snow, with localized amounts approaching two feet or more. In addition, strong winds along the coast will produce white-out conditions at times.

Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories are in place in much of the State, with Blizzard Warnings in place from coastal York up through Coastal Waldo Counties. The force of the storm will be greatest starting Friday afternoon, exact timing depending on your location.

A Coastal Flood Warning is also posted for the southern coast, as strong winds are expected to push storm surge onshore.

"This is a big, dangerous winter storm," says MEMA Director Rob McAleer. "And we haven't a lot of practice this season, so it's a good time to remind ourselves about storm safety."

  • Pay attention. Storm conditions and timing will differ depending on where you are. Stay “tuned in” to your best source of weather information to stay up to date on the latest predictions for the storm. Visit Maine Prepares for up to date weather warnings.
  • Gather any last-minute necessary supplies before the storm hits. Check in with neighbors and friends who may need extra help to prepare for and weather the storm.
  • When the storm arrives, stay off the roads to allow plow crews to do their work. Blowing and drifting snow will reduce visibility and make travel extremely treacherous.
  • If you lose power, use emergency generators and alternate heat sources safely. Run generators outside at least 15 feet away from windows, doors and vents. Badly placed generators (such as in or near the door of a garage or window) are a major cause of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that silently kills.
  • Keep outside vents for heaters and stoves clear of snow, as clogged vents may also pose carbon monoxide dangers.
  • If you see a downed power line, stay away from it, and notify the electric utility.
  • Respect any local road closures or access restrictions to coastal areas.

The storm is expected to wind down through the late afternoon on Saturday. After the storm, take care as you begin to dig out and clean up:

  • Be careful when shoveling snow. Over-exertion can bring on heart problems or back injuries.
  • Protect yourself by dressing for the season, wearing several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing, rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Mittens are better than gloves to keep hands warm. Wear a hat, as most body heat is lost through the top of the head, and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
  • Keep travel to a minimum to allow clean-up operations to proceed smoothly. Be especially careful at intersections, as high snow banks may block your view of traffic
  • Help dig out fire hydrants and storm drains in your neighborhood.
  • Clear snow from house and barn roofs; 12 inches of wet or compacted snow can put as 20 pounds per square foot extra weight on your roof. Keep all vents clear, and protect outside oil tanks from falling snow and ice.
  • Look around for neighbors and friends who may need help to clear steps, driveways and roofs.

Special Safety message about Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

Warning signs of CO poisoning are flu symptoms like headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion, but without a fever.

If you or anyone in the home thinks you are being poisoned by carbon monoxide:

  • Leave the house at once.
  • Call the fire department or 911.
  • Get medical attention. Call the Poison Center (1-800-222-1222) or your doctor after you leave the house.
  • Stay out of the building until the fire department tells you it is safe.

For more information on storm safety and preparedness, visit Maine Prepares. Road conditions can be found at http://511maine.gov

Stay informed throughout today, Friday and Saturday on how your area will be affected:

For weather information and safety tips:

For travel information and road conditions: