Knox EMA director: Stay off roads, DOT and other plow trucks halted until safe to resume work

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Monday, February 13, 2017 - 3:30pm
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The wind blows the snow in downtown Rockland. (Courtesy William Smith)

Knox County Emergency Management Director Ray Sisk is asking Monday afternoon that everybody get off the roads and stay off the roads to allow plow crews to do their jobs.

"Visibility is so poor that it is making it very difficult for plows to get around," said Sisk. "And other people out there driving around is making it hard for plows too."

Sisk said that in addition to plowing operations being shut down in Waldoboro and Cushing, the state Department of Transportation and Central Maine Power are pulling their trucks off the road until conditions improve.

"If just plows, CMP and public safety were on the road, we would be further ahead. We would not have cars in ditches and running into people's houses," said Sisk.

Sisk said that a blizzard warning remains in effect until 7 p.m. Monday, which means the high winds will remain until 7 p.m.

He also said that the blizzard warning went into effect Sunday, and has remained unchanged.

"It is what they knew yesterday, but there could be adjustments to the timeframe before the winds die down," said Sisk.

Sisk said that Route 1 in Nobleboro remains closed due to several jackknifed tractor trailer trucks. He also said that drifting snow is a major issue, with "pretty good" drifting reported along Route 131, near Harjula's, and along Route 17 in Washington near the DOT storage buildings.

"Winds are gusting into the 50s, and plow crews and CMP are being pulled until it is again safe for them to resume," said Sisk.

"So we are asking that people stay off the road. Stay home or stay where you are until this blizzard abates," said Sisk. "Crews on the road are doing all they can to keep major roads marginally open, but under these conditions, they can't keep up."

A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout conditions, making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If you must travel...have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded...stay with your vehicle.