ELLSWORTH – If emergency personnel had one message for coastal Mainers for the start of the work week, it was this: stay home.
A blizzard hit the area Sunday evening and by Monday morning, roughly a foot of snow had fallen in Ellsworth. The snow was expected to continue throughout the day Monday.
Area schools were closed Monday, as were numerous businesses, including The Ellsworth American, and state offices.
The National Weather Service in Caribou is predicting up to two feet of snowfall in coastal Hancock County. Strong winds caused blowing and drifting snow and poor visibility.
“Travel conditions are expected to remain treacherous throughout Monday,” said Governor Paul LePage in a press release announcing the closure of state offices. “I encourage Mainers to stay off the roads and avoid traveling unless it is an absolute emergency. Avoiding unnecessary travel will keep accidents to a minimum and allow state and municipal road crews to safely go about their work.”
LePage advised Mainers to be safe and check on their neighbors.
Despite the strong winds, Emera Maine was reporting only 44 customers without power as of 7:30 a.m. Monday.
Conditions are expected to improve gradually tonight.