Maine River Flow Advisory Commission Meets in Augusta
March 29, 2018
Spring Flood Threat Remains Above Average
AUGUSTA, MAINE — The State’s River Flow Advisory Commission met for the second time this season today in Augusta to discuss ongoing ice conditions, snowpack, streamflow, groundwater levels, and flood risk across the state.
“We’re looking at a later than normal spring, with the highest potential for flooding in about two to four weeks,” said Robert Lent with the Maine office of the U.S. Geological Survey.
Although temperatures are expected to be above normal into this weekend, the National Weather Service predicts lower than normal temperatures beginning next week.
“I don’t see anything that will cause flooding in the next two weeks,” said Tom Hawley of the National Weather Service, Gray. “We will, however, continue with an above normal flood potential for the season overall.”
Rivers in central and southern Maine have little ice remaining due to recent warmer temperatures. Rivers in northern Maine still have as much as 40 inches of ice as well as snow, per the U.S. Geological Survey.
“Statewide we are at about normal for streamflow and groundwater,” said Nicholas Stasulis, Data Section Chief, U.S. Geological Survey. “The snow is not at the point it was last year as far as readiness to melt, so we have not seen a lot of recharge in ground water yet.”
“We’re not out of the woods yet as far as potential flooding,” said Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Suzanne Krauss. “We will continue to monitor conditions and discuss with Commission members to determine if another meeting is needed in the next few weeks.”
Meanwhile, those who live in flood prone areas are reminded:
It is never safe to drive down a flooded roadway, as the road may be washed out underneath and it only take as few as six inches of water to cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Take steps to protect your belongings ahead of time, including elevating electronic devices and moving vehicles out of areas that may flood.
Homeowners insurance typically doesn’t cover flood damage. Check with your insurance company to see if it makes sense to add flood insurance to your policy. It takes 30 days to become effective.
Be aware of flood alerts and warnings by downloading the free FEMA app on your smart phone and selecting alerts for up to five locations of your choice.
River Flow Advisory Commission reports are available online at http://www.maine.gov/rfac/ or can be obtained from MEMA by calling 207-624-4400.