AUGUSTA, MAINE – Plummeting temperatures combined with gusty winds will create very cold to dangerously cold wind chills as low as -40F across sections of Maine this evening into tomorrow morning. The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is urging people to use caution during these extreme temperatures. The National Weather Service in Caribou says expect to see snow and blowing snow in far eastern Washington County beginning this afternoon. Aroostook County is also concerned about white-out conditions.
“We are looking at another round of dangerously cold temperatures. I again urge Mainers to use extreme caution, look in on your neighbors and stay safe,” said MEMA Director Peter Rogers.
“Please take every precaution to stay warm and safe and be sure to check on your friends, family and neighbors,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Support is available by calling 2-1-1, with warming centers opening in communities across the state.”
Citizens are encouraged to stay tuned to alerts and warnings through media or by downloading the free FEMA app on their smart phone, which provides targeted preparedness information, alerts and warnings for specific areas.
With strong winds also in the forecast Mainers should also remove objects in their yard that could become airborne, such as leftover holiday decorations or shovels and garbage cans on decks and porches.
Mainers are reminded to ensure that alternate heat and power sources are in proper working condition, properly installed, and that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you are using a portable space heater, please keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
- Only buy heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
- Check to make sure the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
- Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room away from curtains and other flammable items.
For further tips or resources on heating during the winter months, visit this Winter Heating Guide produced by the Governors Energy Office.
Warming Centers are also opening in several Maine counties. Please visit MEMAs website to find a location near you: www.maine.gov/mema/response-recovery/mass-care . You may also dial 2-1-1 or visit their website for a list of locations. Warming Centers are following COVID-19 health and safety guidelines to protect those utilizing their facilities.
The State Emergency Operations Center remains in partial operation while responding to resource needs of the county emergency management agencies related to COVID-19 as well as storm events.