Jan. 25—Maine is in the path of another snowstorm, the third to blow into the state in the past week.
Residents, town and state road crews, and power restoration teams finished their cleanup work from Monday's storm on Wednesday just before it began snowing again.
Snow was expected to intensify overnight. Portland and coastal regions could get 2 to 4 inches of new snow, followed by rain, by the time storm ends Thursday morning, with inland areas seeing up to a foot of snow in some areas, according to the National Weather Service in Gray.
Meteorologist Sarah Thunberg said the third storm should quickly exit the state Thursday. In Portland, the forecast is for heavy snowfall to start, some overnight freezing, and then rain Thursday morning. Temperatures in Portland should warm overnight.
The trio of storms has taken its toll on Mainers. The first storm blew into the state on Jan. 19, dropping 8 inches of snow in Portland. The second storm arrived Sunday and dropped another 8 inches in Portland by the time it ended Monday.
The second storm hit York County hard with heavy, wet snow knocking down trees and utility wires, leaving thousands of people without power for days in communities such as Wells, the Berwicks and the Kennebunks.
Only 51 York County customers were still without power Wednesday night, according to Central Maine Power's outage website.
The Maine Emergency Management Agency warned Mainers that Thursday's wintry mix could make travel dangerous in some regions.
Heavy, wet snow and winds gusting up to 50 mph could cause power outages in Hancock and Washington counties. Temperatures could dip into the single digits Thursday night causing roads to freeze, according to MEMA.
"We are monitoring the third significant storm this month," MEMA Director Peter Rogers said in a release. "Due to the mixed precipitation, we anticipate unsafe driving conditions, and we also urge folks to be cautious while shoveling out from the storm."
Gov. Janet Mills directed state offices in Oxford, Franklin, Somerset, Piscataquis, Penobscot, Aroostook, Hancock and Washington counties to close Thursday. State offices in the remaining counties won't open until 11 a.m.
"As we dig out from the last storm, it's important to make sure we are prepared for this one," Mills said in a statement. "If you travel tomorrow, I urge you to be cautious. That means giving yourself extra time, driving slowly, and providing plenty of space to road crews and emergency first responders who are all working to keep us safe. And be sure to check in on your neighbors, family, and friends."