December 15, 2013

Waterville area weathers the storm

No serious accidents reported

By Amy Calder
Staff Writer

As snow fell on central Maine Sunday, many motorists steered clear of the roads, making the jobs of law enforcement officials and plow drivers easier and producing no serious accidents by early evening.

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MAKE WAY: Chris DeMerchant of the Waterville Public Works department clears snow off Silver Street during Sunday’s snowfall. Plows, sand trucks and graders were out in full force.

Staff photo by David Leaming

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SOLITUDE: Shannon Mullen had Main Street in Waterville to himself as he walked to Waterville Commons to shovel snow on Sunday.

Staff photo by David Leaming

Additional Photos Below

In Waterville, police dispatcher Ryan Karagiannes said that there had been no weather-related problems or accidents Sunday.

“We’ve had a pretty uneventful day today,” he said by late afternoon.

Just before 10 a.m. Sunday, Waterville dispatcher Addie Gilman said no accidents had been reported since 6 a.m., when she started her shift. But vehicles left parked on streets including High and Main, as well as on The Concourse, had to be towed.

“Quite a few were towed last night because of the parking ban,” Gilman said.

Karl Morse, superintendent of operations and maintenance for the Waterville Public Works Department, said his crew had been plowing snow since about 3 a.m. and things were going well.

The snow was light and fluffy and people stayed off the roads, early in the day, which made the work easier.

“The roads are very passable and the guys have done a great job keeping the roads open,” Morse said.

By 4 p.m., Augusta, in Kennebec County, and Athens, in Somerset, both had 9 1/2 inches of snow; Randolph and Skowhegan had 10; and Chesterville, in Franklin County, had a foot of snow, according to Michael Cempa, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray.

Waterville had 9 inches by mid-morning and more was falling, although Cempa did not have an update by 4 p.m.

Margaret Curtis, also a National Weather Service meteorologist, said earlier in the day that 10 to 14 inches were expected by storm’s end Sunday.

It was 8 degrees in Augusta and 9 in Waterville, but with the wind chill factor, it was 11 below zero in Waterville, according to Curtis.

“Winds are gusting into the 25 mph range,” she said.

In Augusta, it was 13 below zero with the wind chill factor, she said.

The storm pretty much fell in line with what was predicted in terms of snowfall and the kind of light, fluffy snow expected, according to Curtis.

She said temperatures were expected to be in the single digits Sunday night and below zero Monday night.

Temperatures were predicted to be around 18 by Tuesday, when several more inches of snow were possible.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Dispatcher Tom Marble said by late afternoon that one accident was reported in Jay, but it was not serious.

“We’ve had a couple (of accidents) in parking lots, but that’s it — nothing major,” he said.

A Somerset County Communications Center dispatcher said five vehicle accidents were reported Sunday, but they were minor.

Earlier Sunday, Somerset Dispatcher Tanya Allen said the department had dealt with no serious storm-related issues by mid-morning.

“The roads are just messy, so it’s kind of hard to get around,” Allen said.

A dispatcher for the state Department of Public Safety said just before 4:30 p.m. that no serious accidents had been reported.

Amy Calder — 861-9247 Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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Additional Photos

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MAKING MOUNTAINS: Dan Misner II of Misner Lawn Care creates a mountain of snow while plowing in Fairfield during the snowstorm on Sunday.

Staff photo by David Leaming

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BUSY: Workers with Goodall Landscaping company kept busy shoveling and plowing during the snowstorm on Sunday. Cleaning up around gas pumps at the Cumberland Farms store in Waterville are, from left, Chris Loder, Frank Condon and John Wilcox.

Staff photo by David Leaming

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Staff photo by David Leaming SANTAS HELPERS: Looking alot like the image of Santa Claus with white hair, beard and a red face, William Saucier, center, got some help digging his car after it got stuck in snow in Waterville on Sunday. Waterville Public Works employees Larry Colson, left, and Brian Ames pitched in to dig the car out.

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