December 26, 2013

Snowy weather snarls traffic on I-95 in Waterville

Temperatures are forecast to rise into the 30s over the weekend.

By Jesse Scardina jscardina@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Poor driving conditions caused by cold temperatures and steady snowfall caused several vehicles to slide off Interstate 95 in Waterville Thursday afternoon, briefly backing up traffic.

click image to enlarge

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans STORMY TRAVEL: A multi-vehicle accident snarled traffic on the northbound lanes on Interstate-95 on the Sidney and Waterville on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013. Snow has complicated matters in central Maine with residents still dealing with the ice storm that paralyzed much of central Maine this week.

click image to enlarge

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans STORMY TRAVEL: A multi-vehicle accident snarled traffic on the northbound lanes on Interstate-95 on the Sidney and Waterville on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013. Snow has complicated matters in central Maine with residents still dealing with the ice storm that paralyzed much of central Maine this week.

With power outages still affecting residents in Kennebec County and below-freezing temperatures through the week, Kennebec and Somerset counties were hit with another 4-6 inches of snow Thursday on top of the ice left over from the storm earlier in the week, which hampered travel throughout the day. The snow was forecast to continue throughout Thursday. Warmer temperatures were expected to arrive by the end of the week, according to the National Weather Service in Gray.

More than two dozen accidents were reported, according to area police logs. The list included the accident northbound on Interstate 95, where multiple cars slid off the road and caused a brief traffic jam near mile marker 125 that stretched back at least a mile.

“It started snowing and people just went every which way,” said Lt. Scott Holst of the Waterville Fire Department. The department, along with Maine State Police, responded to the accidents on the interstate at about noon. Several cars had slid off the highway, and one person received minor injuries, Holst said.

Both lanes northbound were shut down briefly while first responders worked at the scene. Traffic was moved to one lane at about 12:30 and cleared shortly after.

By that time, only a couple inches of snow had fallen, but combined with the cold temperatures and pre-existing ice, road conditions were slick, Holst said.

Conditions should improve over the weekend, according to National Weather Service meteorologist James Brown. Friday will be dryer, with temperatures reaching the 30s, and mild temperatures in the 30s will continue through the weekend, Brown said.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239jscardina@centralmaine.comTwitter: @jessescardina
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