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Wild weather interferes with weekend events

FORT KENT, Maine — Too much of a good thing is not always wonderful, even when that good thing is snow for skiers and snowmobilers.

Mother Nature has provided the St. John Valley with a bountiful supply of snow this season, which most often works in favor of local outdoor winter activities. However, meteorologists predict a nor’easter to hit Maine late Saturday evening into Sunday, with as much as 22 inches of snow possible. Between that and sub zero temperatures along with extreme wind chills on Saturday, organizers have cancelled several planned weekend events in Fort Kent.

The Fort Kent Outdoor Center has postponed the North American No. 6 Biathlon Competitions scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Approximately 30 biathletes from Fredericton, N.B., to New Hampshire were planning to compete.

FKOC board member Pat Theriault said the trails will still be open for cross country skiing and snowshoeing and the rental shop at the center will be open Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. both days.

The expected snow will serve well for upcoming events at the FKOC, according to Theriault, including a Frostbite 10k and Super Hero Relay on Sunday, Feb. 3.

“We’re definitely gonna keep the snow and we have a real nice base and the skiing has been perfect,” Theriault said. “Once we get the weather to calm down a little bit, we’ll be OK.”

Fort Kent Community High School has cancelled Aroostook League Alpine Ski Races scheduled for Saturday at Lonesome Pine Trails, due to the expected cold weather, which could result in wind chill temperatures of 30 below..

The Eagle Lake Sled Dog Races will go on as planned, with mushers and their dogs set to take off from the starting line on Covenant Road at 10 a.m. Saturday. Event co-organizer Amy Dionne said organizers have lifted a rule which stated that mushers could only accept award money if they attended an awards banquet on Sunday.

“We are letting mushers head home right after they finish the race and will mail awards if they wish,” Dionne said. “We are also notifying them to make arrangements and be prepared for the cold and oncoming storm.”

Dionne added that in one way the races may benefit from the severe weekend weather.
“The dogs will love this because it’ll be sub zero temps and with a low pressure system coming in the dogs are more amped up,” she said.

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