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From the roads to the slopes, Mainers gear up for first major snowfall

The snow is on its way, and while this isn't Mainers' first rodeo, there's still much to prep for.

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — With the ground still bare across much of the state, Mainers are gearing up for the season's first major snow fall this weekend. 

NEWS CENTER Maine's meteorologists expect anywhere from 2 to 15 inches to fall Saturday into Sunday. 

RELATED: Heavy snow, strong wind gusts in store for Maine weather Saturday night

"We're working today, getting the trucks ready," Tony Leonard with Maine DOT said Friday.  "Everything will be ready to roll tomorrow afternoon."

Dept. of Transportation officials said fleets across the state are ready for the moment flakes start to fly. The only challenge this year is the pandemic.

It has contingencies in place to try and keep as many crews safe and on the road as possible. That includes changes in mask-wearing and changes to how and where crew members work.

"The vehicles are all sectioned off," Leonard said. "Only two people per vehicle with plastic in between."

Leonard said he hopes drivers remember to keep their distance from plow trucks on the road and stay home if you do not have to commute. 

If you still need to and have not gotten your snow tires on yet though, you are not alone.

The phones at VIP Tires & Service in Scarborough were ringing consistently Friday as part of a last-minute rush.

"It's definitely getting more busy," manager Damian Derosier said. "Mainers do tend to wait until the last minute. A lot of us do. With the phones ringing, we're going to everything we can to accommodate."

Derosier said overall business has been a bit slower compared to previous years. 

The hardest-hit area will be Western Maine where ski resorts are welcoming the fresh powder. 

RELATED: OUTSIDE EDGE | Your guide to Maine skiing during the COVID-19 pandemic

"Just being open to ski during a pandemic is a pretty big feat, so this feels like a big reward to be getting a nice big snowstorm to start off December," Karolyn Castaldo at Sunday River said.  

The mountain is currently open to season pass holders only through Dec. 13. Sunday River has made significant changes to keep its staff and skiers safe on the slopes.

Castaldo said the pandemic combined with the weather has made for a bumpy start to their season. 

"Obviously the weather has been a little bit of a challenge these last couple weeks with some rain and warmer temps," she said. "But with some help from mother nature and continued snowmaking temps, I think we're going to be in good shape headed into Christmas."

Stay up to date with the latest storm information as it happens by downloading the NEWS CENTER Maine app.