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Turnpike Info: 877-682-9433

Maine Turnpike: Thinking Ahead FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2015
Erin Courtney

Turnpike Urging Motorists to Avoid Non-Essential Travel During Storm

Speeds reduced to 45 mph from Kittery to Augusta

     PORTLAND, Maine –  With heavy snow fall expected through the overnight hours and strong winds creating blizzard conditions, the Maine Turnpike Authority (MTA) is urging motorists to avoid all non-essential travel during the upcoming storm.  The speed along the turnpike has already been reduced to 45 mph from Kittery to Augusta due to snow.  Deteriorating conditions are expected throughout the storm with the anticipated overnight snowfall of 5 to 8 inches and wind gusts as high as 50 mph along the turnpike corridor.  The forecast includes poor visibility due to high winds and dry, blowing snow, accompanied by temperatures as low as 15 degrees below zero Sunday night into Monday morning.  Motorists should be prepared for slower traffic once winds pick up overnight.
     “Even if we work around the clock with full crews and all of our equipment, there may be times when snow will fall or be blown onto the highway more rapidly than it can be removed.   To make matters worse, blowing snow coupled with extreme winds may cause situations where there is zero visibility," said Peter Mills, Executive Director of the MTA.  "When truck drivers can't see, they can't safely plow.  Travel for everyone may be treacherous Sunday.   We urge motorists to avoid travel unless necessary.”  If travel is necessary, it is recommended that motorists keep a safe distance between their vehicle and any other automobiles on the roadway.
     Despite treacherous conditions, the Turnpike will remain open so that first responders, firemen, police officers, ambulance crews, and utility workers may respond to accidents, restore power, and render emergency health services.
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