PORTLAND, Maine -- A week after an ice storm left parts of northern New England in the dark, a fast moving storm is expected to drop heavy, wet snow in parts of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire that could cause more power outages.
Utility companies in Maine and Vermont were bracing for more outages, with forecasters predicting a band of heavy, wet snow that could dump 10 or more inches in the Lewiston and Augusta region.
Bangor Hydro Electric spokeswoman Susan Faloon said crews had gotten the number of outages down to under 2,000 by Sunday afternoon, but noted that many of those remaining outages affect customers who have been without power for nearly a week.
"On any other day that number might not seem quite so worrisome, but people are cold, tired and frustrated. And now we have this storm looming over us."
Faloon said some of those customers won't have power restored until Wednesday. Most are in Hancock County, which she described as "a huge mess."
Central Maine Power reported that nearly 1,000 customers remained without power at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Vermont Electric Cooperative saw outages climb by about 300 Sunday due to ice on trees and lines, according to its website. By 3 p.m. Sunday the number of customers without power stood at about 1,600.
Green Mountain Power spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure said snowfall on trees still caked with ice could prompt a new round of outages in the northwest region of the state. She said people in southeastern Vermont who did not lose power after last week's storm could be affected as well.
Schnure said Green Mountain Power had restored power to all customers by Christmas Eve, but is now experiencing a new round of outages, with just over 100 customers without power Sunday.
Tom Hawley, meteorologist with the National Weather Service at Gray, Maine, said the New Hampshire seacoast will see mostly rain, with interior Rockingham County expected to get 2-4 inches.
"The lion's share of the snow will fall in a narrow band from Bangor down through Waterville, Augusta, Lewiston, Gray, and down into Conway and North Conway, Laconia and down into Merrimack County," Hawley said.
Hawley said Concord, N.H. and southern Vermont could 4 -6 inches.
"It's going to be a heavy, sticky, wet snow," Hawley said. "It could create some more power outages."