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Heavy snow pushing north through County

CARIBOU, Maine — The first of two storm systems forecast earlier this week brought mostly light snow accumulations to Aroostook County Tuesday into Wednesday.

But the National Weather Service in Caribou forecast up to 10 inches more in parts of The County late Wednesday into Thursday.

A weather service winter storm warning remains in effect until 4 a.m. Thursday for northeastern and northwestern Aroostook. Additional snow accumulations of 5 to 10 inches are expected. Far northern Maine, including Fort Kent, Presque Isle and Caribou, could see 10 inches from the storm, according to meteorologists.

The weather service warned residents to plan on difficult travel conditions, including during the evening commute, with significant reductions in visibility possible at times.

Snow began falling heavily in Houlton around noon Wednesday, and an area of heavy snow extended from near Baxter State Park to near the community just before 1:30, according to the weather service. The band was expected to continue slowly northward  across portions of northeast Maine through late afternoon.

Jessica Flood of Houlton said that U.S. 1 from Houlton to Mars Hill was “quite slick” just before 2 p.m.

“There were no cars off the road, thankfully,” she said. “But visibility had really decreased. I was surprised. I thought it was going to be worse later tonight.”

Caribou saw 2.7 inches from Tuesday’s storm, which brought the snowfall total in the city to 15 inches for the month. That is 8.5 inches above the normal total of 6.5 inches. Last year, the city received 22.9 inches of snow in January, according to statistics provided by the agency. Houlton saw about 2 inches, while 1.5 inches was reported in Fort Fairfield. Additional information on snowfall totals was not available Wednesday, as the NWS in Caribou has been impacted by the partial government shutdown that began Dec. 21.

The winter storms followed a New Year’s Day one that brought double digit snowfall to some parts of The County.

Since Dec. 1, 34 inches of snow has fallen in the Caribou area, which is 4.6 inches above the normal amount of 29.4 inches. Since July 1, 2018, 66.8 inches of snow has fallen in that part of Aroostook, which is 25.2. inches above the normal amount  of 41.6 inches.

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