Maine River Flow Advisory Commission Meets in Caribou

April 5, 2019

Spring Flood Threat Improved from March, But Not Eliminated

The State's River Flow Advisory Commission met in Caribou Friday morning to discuss flood conditions across the state, with a focus on northern Maine, where the threat continues to be greater than the rest of the State. The group reviewed streamflow conditions on Maine's lakes, rivers and streams, snowpack, groundwater levels, and weather conditions.

"Based on todays discussions, the next seven to ten days don't show a significant risk for flooding across the state," said Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Suzanne Krauss. "But we can't let our guard down, because there is a potential for flooding well into May."

Temperatures are expected to remain near normal for the next several weeks.

"Overall, the spring potential is still higher than average for flood risk," said Donald Dumont of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Caribou. "It's been a controlled snow melt so far, and temperatures will remain below freezing at night, which helps with that controlled melt."

"Statewide, streamflow remains higher than normal due to snow melt and northern Maine rivers are expected to continue to rise as the ice melts," said Nicholas Stasulis, Data Section Chief with the U.S. Geological Survey. "Groundwater levels continue to vary across the state, with higher levels in the south and along the coast, where snowmelt has already occurred. Northern and western groundwater levels have not benefited from snowmelt to date."

Aroostook County Emergency Management Agency continues to implement proactive preparedness steps, including readying its Incident Management Team, working with the American Red Cross to conduct shelter training, meeting with at risk residents and working with partner agencies.

"We are doing everything we can to prepare as response and recovery agencies," Said Darren Woods, Director of Aroostook County Emergency Management Agency. "We encourage people at home to keep their guard up and be prepared at home and at work. We have had remarkable success with the public input on our Aroostook County Flood Watch Facebook page which provides situational awareness."

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.

The Commission will continue to monitor conditions and determine whether another meeting in May is warranted.

 

Contact:

Susan Faloon
207-624-4400