AUGUSTA — With a major winter storm expected to bring rain, high winds, coastal flooding, followed by freezing temperatures that will create hazardous conditions, Gov. Janet Mills has directed all State of Maine offices closed Friday, Dec. 23.

“We want to be sure that Maine people are safe heading into the holiday weekend,” the governor said in a news release issued Thursday, Dec. 22. “I continue to strongly urge folks to prepare for this storm, to take precautions, especially when traveling, and to check-in on your family, friends and neighbors.”

State of Maine offices were previously scheduled to close early at noon Friday in observance of the holiday.

Earlier Thursday, the governor and Maine Emergency Management Agency strongly urged Maine people to prepare for the storm.

The National Weather Service reports that beginning late Thursday, heavy rain and snow melt in western Maine will lead to potential widespread flooding with numerous road closures possible. Precipitation will begin as snow in the mountains before changing to rain late Friday morning. Snowmelt south of the mountains will lead to widespread minor flooding during the day on Friday with potential river flooding lasting into the weekend.

Erosion is possible along the coast with potential damage to roads on exposed low-lying shorelines. High winds with gusts of up to 60 miles per hour could damage trees, power lines and property. Widespread power outages are likely. Temperatures will drop sharply Friday night into Saturday morning, making for unsafe driving conditions on Saturday due to flash freeze along roadways.

High tide in Rockland on Friday will be 10:07 a.m. The astronomical high tide coincides with projected peak winds.

State and many municipal offices will be closed Monday, Dec. 26 for the holiday.

About 20 trucks at parked in the Ocean State Job Lot parking lot in Rockland, awaiting Friday’s storm. Photo by Stephen Betts

 

About a dozen utility trucks are parked at Rockland Harbor Hotel awaiting Friday’s storm. Photo by Stephen Betts