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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > Local Flooding Possible; Stay Alert and Stay Safe

Local Flooding Possible; Stay Alert and Stay Safe


April 6, 2009

4:00 PM


AUGUSTA, MAINE – Officials are monitoring ice jam flooding in northern Maine, as rain and melting snow are combining to raise stream levels, and cause ice to lift and move along Maine’s northern rivers. Ice jams on the Aroostook River are causing concerns in Masardis, Washburn and Fort Fairfield. Ice-affected flooding is also possible on the Piscataquis and northern Penobscot Rivers.

In areas where ice is present, ice jam flooding can occur at a moment’s notice. Water can back up behind an ice jam or rush downstream when an ice jam breaks.

With rain predicted statewide for this afternoon and tonight, localized flooding is possible in many locations. The National Weather Service has posted flood watches across much of central and southern Maine, and flood warnings in the far north. The Maine Emergency Management Agency is urging Mainers to pay close attention to weather forecasts and local road conditions, and monitor streams closely, especially where ice is moving.

With safety in mind, officials advise:

  • Stay away from flooded roadways.
  • Respect all markers and barricades.
  • If you encounter an area that is flooded and not marked or closed, please report it to local authorities.
  • Obey all official instructions, including any requests to evacuate.

Road conditions can change rapidly during a rain and runoff event – a road that is currently open may be flooded in a very short time. Serious damage to the road may be hidden by flood water. Just one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the road. Most flooding deaths are vehicle-related. Find another way around.

In addition, stay well back from rushing water while walking. As little as six inches of rushing water can sweep you off your feet. Keep children and pets away from rushing streams and drainage ditches.

511 Maine, the Maine Department of Transportation’s Travel Information system, has information on road conditions. Dial 511 from your telephone to get a recorded message on road conditions, or visit the web site

For more information on disaster preparedness and safety, visit



Lynette Miller


Last update: 07/20/10