Governor Mills Calls Special Meeting of Maine Climate Council to Discuss Impacts of Recent Storms & Long-Term Strategies to Enhance Maine’s Resilience to Extreme Weather

Strengthening Maine's resilience to flooding and damages from extreme storms is a priority for Governor Mills and a leading topic for the Council

Governor Janet Mills has called a special meeting of the Maine Climate Council for next Tuesday, January 23, 2024 to discuss the impacts of the recent storms on Maine and Maine people and how the state can strengthen its resilience to future extreme weather events.

Strengthening Maine's resilience to the impacts of extreme storms like those that caused historic damage to inland and coastal Maine over the past several weeks is a priority for the Governor. It is also a leading topic for the Maine Climate Council, which is now working to update the state's four-year climate action plan, Maine Won't Wait.

The Climate Council -- an assembly of scientists, citizens, business leaders, and bipartisan state and local officials -- was created by Governor Mills in 2019 with bipartisan support of the Legislature. By statute, the Council must deliver its updated climate plan to the Governor and Legislature by Dec. 1, 2024.

During the meeting, the Governor and Council will hear from agencies on the frontline of the storm response, communities that experienced significant damage and flooding from the recent storms, about trends in extreme storms in Maine, and strategies for strengthening resilience on the state and local level that includes perspectives from leaders in other states. Following that discussion, the Council will engage in a dialogue about setting priorities for strengthening Maine's resilience to extreme storms in the upcoming climate plan.

The meeting will be held from 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, at the University of Maine at Augusta. Due to space limitations, interested members of the public are encouraged to observe the meeting via Zoom. Register for the meeting webinar here.

  • WHO: Governor Janet Mills, Maine Climate Council
  • WHAT: Special Meeting RE: Storm Impacts & Resilience
  • WHEN: Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at 2:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: The University of Maine at Augusta, Fireplace Lounge at the Randall Student Center

The meeting comes after Governor Mills formally requested that President Joe Biden issue a Major Disaster Declaration to help ten Maine counties recover from the severe December storm that brought significant flooding, power outages, and caused an estimated $20 million in damage to roads, bridges, public buildings, utilities, and other public infrastructure in central and western Maine.

At the direction of Governor Mills, Maine Emergency Management Agency has also requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency begin conducting a Preliminary Damage Assessment of last week's storms that brought historic flooding to the Maine coast, destroying homes, roads, buildings, docks, and iconic landmarks. The request is the first formal step toward requesting another Major Disaster Declaration from the Federal government.

Since 2019, the Mills Administration has prioritized the fight against climate change in Maine through actions to reduce carbon emissions, transition to renewable energy, and make Maine communities more resilient to climate effects.

In 2021, Governor Mills established the Community Resilience Partnership, which helps communities plan for climate change, reduce carbon emissions, and increase resilience to climate effects.

Since the program was first announced, some 175 cities, towns and Tribal governments in Maine have chosen to participate in the Partnership either as individual entities or in regional coalitions, and the program has awarded nearly $6.1 million to 103 communities.