January 7

Cars skid off Augusta area roads as temperatures rise and rain falls

Police ask motorists to stay off roads as standing water and ice make travel difficult, and emergency officials warn it will all freeze up with overnight dropping temperatures.

By Keith Edwards kedwards@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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ELEMENTS: Michael Johnston attempts to push John Thiele’s car out of a snow bank Monday in Hallowell. Drivers encountered hazardous conditions across Maine while heavy rain fell on already slick roads.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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ELEMENTS: State Trooper Sam Tlumac directs traffic away from icy roads Monday morning on Northern Avenue in Farmingdale. Drivers encountered icy roads slickened by rain compelling authorities to close several roads across the state.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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“Any standing water in the roadway or in people’s driveways will be very treacherous,” Talbot said. Contractors are standing by to handle calls if the situation worsens, he said.

In Belgrade, two accidents were reported on Route 27, one near Christy’s store and another in which a plow truck went into a ditch. Police called for extra salt to be applied to highway off ramps, some of which were covered with ice.

A propane truck also went off Route 27 about three miles south of Belgrade Lakes village Monday morning, but it couldn’t be determined if it was weather related. No propane leaked in the accident, authorities said. The accident tied up traffic for much of the morning.

Augusta schools, along with other area schools, were closed. Augusta Superintendent James Anastasio said Augusta has used two snow days so far this school year. Snow days, he noted, are always made up, and the make up days usually come at the end of the school year.

Anastasio said two pipes burst at the Cony High School campus as a result of extreme cold over the weekend, and there were several minor roof leaks at Hussey Elementary School.

Central Maine Power reported 2,576 outages statewide just before 4 p.m. Monday, and 926 outages in Kennebec County.

Beausoleil, the county emergency management director, said people should be prepared. He suggested having a generator capable of running a home’s furnace, or make arrangements to go somewhere that does, in case of residential power loss.

“Planning ahead makes it a lot better,” Beausoleil said of storms. “I had someone tell me they were all set, they had a box of Cheez-Its and a candle. That’s not going to work. A box of Cheez-Its is not an emergency plan.”

The Portland Press Herald contributed to this story.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647kedwards@centralmaine.com
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Additional Photos

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ELEMENTS: Wes Sproul walks over ice Monday on Water Street in Augusta while getting a cup of coffee. Several inches of rain fell on snow and crust, creating hazardous conditions outside.

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A five vehicle accident on Leighton Road in Augusta, closed the road for about an hour Monday morning.

Photo courtesy of Scott Dunbar/Augusta Fire Department


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