Daily Archives: January 5, 2018

Maine officials blast Trump plan to open coastal waters to oil drilling | Bangor Daily News

On Thursday, President Donald Trump administration announced a draft proposal that would open large swaths of federal waters to potential oil and gas drilling, including the coast of Maine.

The proposal would open most of the outer continental shelf to oil and gas drilling for a five-year lease period to start in 2019. The prospect of rigs churning up the seabed in the Gulf of Maine, alongside struggling shrimp stocks, valuable scallops and the state’s iconic lobster has environmental advocates furious.

“This is just a slap in the face, frankly, to anybody who wants to protect their economy on the coast,” Natural Resources Council of Maine executive director Lisa Pohlmann said.

Pohlmann said aquaculture, seafood harvesting and tourism would be under threat from such a plan because, as she puts it, “where there is drilling there is spilling.”

Read the rest of the story in the Bangor Daily News.

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Frozen in time: Memories of the Ice Storm of ’98 | Bangor Daily News

Twenty years ago, a massive winter storm system tormented Maine for days, turning much of the state into a thick, gigantic icicle. As power lines snapped under the weight of the ice, a half million Mainers were plunged into darkness. Many found themselves without light and heat for as long as three weeks. The entire state was a disaster area. And President Bill Clinton eventually declared it one.

Freezing rain began on Jan. 5, a Monday, and continued for three days. By Jan. 6, the icing was already severe.

If you were in Maine for the Ice Storm of ‘98, you remember.

Kids were out of school for two weeks after their Christmas break was supposed to have ended. Thousands of people were forced to take refuge in emergency shelters. Hospitals were crowded with people needing treatment for hypothermia, falls and carbon monoxide poisoning.

At least five Mainers died because of the storm, including two men who succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning, one who was struck in the head by a falling tree, one who died of hypothermia after falling down the stairs of his dark, cold house and one who was killed when the roof of a gas station island collapsed under the weight of ice. The Maine Emergency Management Agency indicates that six people were killed in Maine because of the storm, but did not specify how the sixth person died.

Read the rest of this story in the Bangor Daily News and view a video on the ’98 storm.

Snow piles up and coastal towns get flooded as blizzard blasts Maine | Portland Press Herald

Portland Press Herald

A powerful nor’easter roared into Maine on Thursday, turning into a blizzard packing heavy, drifting snow and gusting winds that created whiteout conditions and caused traffic accidents, power outages and flooding along the coast.

Eric Sinsabaugh, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, said the area over southern and coastal Maine was officially in a blizzard by late Thursday afternoon, after seeing three consecutive hours of sustained wind gusts of at least 35 mph and visibility that was restricted to a quarter mile or less.

Snow fell at a rate of between 1 and 2 inches per hour Thursday afternoon, and was expected to accumulate to a foot or more in Portland.

Final snow totals probably won’t be available until Friday, Sinsabaugh said, but as of Thursday night there were accumulations of 11 inches in Gray, 11.9 inches in Yarmouth, 11 inches in Freeport, 7 inches in Brunswick and 12 inches in Portland.

Portland and coastal areas were expected to see a total accumulation of 12 to 13 inches, and inland areas between 7 and 13 inches. Down East will see the highest accumulations, with up to 16 inches expected along the coast.

Mal Walker, a meteorologist with the weather service office in Caribou, said Thursday’s storm was one of the most powerful to hit the East Coast in recent memory.

Read the rest of this story in the Portland Press Herald.