YORK COUNTY – After nearly 24 hours of steady snow, many Mainers spent Saturday afternoon measuring, shoveling and cleaning up after the strongest storm in decades dropped more than two feet of snow across the region.
The National Weather Service has reported that Portland has seen a record snowfall of 31.9 inches. That smashes the old record of 27.1 inches set back on January 17 and 18 1979.
Gov. Paul LePage signed a limited Emergency Declaration on Friday and closed all state offices at 3 p.m. The winds gusted to over 50 mph overnight as the storm raged and bands of heavy snow struck over the eastern half of the state.
The snow and blizzard like conditions were blamed for a 19-car pileup on Route 295, near Falmouth and stories about the accident were broadcast by many national news organizations. The rest of the country watched and the snow kept falling.
Slippery roads and nearly whiteout conditions are being blamed for at least one death during the storm. The Associated Press and the State Police are reporting that a 74-year-old woman from Jay has died in an automobile crash. Patricia Tardif was a passenger in a car driven by her husband, Alfred, that slid off the road and struck a tree.
Alfred Tardif, was taken to a local hospital where his injuries were described as non-life threatening.
For the most part, the storm has pushed off to the east and headed out to sea. Forecasters are saying that Sunday is shaping up to be a sunny and warmer day with temperatures approaching 35 degrees. The winds will be light and as many in the state dig out skiers will have a great day and plenty of fresh powdery snow.