Maine readies for weekend ice storm

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 2:45pm

Maine Emergency Management Agency is preparing for a significant winter storm that could potentially bring dangerous ice conditions to portions of the state late Saturday night and Sunday.

"We've been watching the storm since early this week," said MEMA Acting Director Peter Rogers, in a Jan. 10 release. "Our operations team has a plan in place, and we will be hosting a conference call this afternoon and potentially throughout the weekend, as needed, with our partners including the National Weather Service, Department of Transportation, County Emergency Management Agencies, and electric utilities."

Forecasts are calling for as much as a half an inch of ice in portions of the state late Saturday through Sunday, which could cause widespread damage including power outages as well as dangerous travel conditions.

"We still have some time before the storm arrives, so its a good idea for citizens to take some steps to prepare now," said Rogers.

In the case of a power outage, citizens should contact their town office or call 2-1-1 for sheltering and warming center locations. Its also a good idea to take some steps to prepare at home as well:

- Stock up on emergency supplies such as non-perishable food, water, medication, pet supplies and other items needed in case it necessary to shelter at home. - Have a "Go Bag" ready with essential supplies should it be necessary to go to a shelter or other location. - Ensure that alternate heat and power sources are in proper working condition and properly installed.

- Download the free FEMA app to receive location-specific alerts and warnings as well as targeted preparedness information.

Those who are traveling should use extreme caution as roadways may be icy. If travel is necessary during this time, its important to remember the following:

- Leave early and allow extra time when traveling and, if possible, drive before dark.

- Pack an emergency kit in your car to include warm clothing, jumper cables, road flares, flashlight and batteries, food and water.

- Do not drive if you have been drinking.

- Fill your gas tank to avoid running out of gas and becoming stranded.

- Fill your windshield-wiper fluid to ensure you can keep your windshield clear.

- Remove all snow and ice from your vehicle before traveling.

- Charge your cell phone before traveling.

- Let others know where you will be traveling and when you expect to arrive at your destination.

For additional preparedness, shelter and safety information, please visit Maine.gov/MEMA, or visit MEMA on Facebook or Twitter.