Melting snow & forecast for rain prompt flood warning

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- More rain is coming, and the Maine Emergency Management Agency is warning there could be flooding along streams and rivers. The National Weather Service has posted a flood watch for most of the state, but MEMA says it is especially concerned about the Kennebec River valley.

Like all the rivers, the Kennebec is running high right now, as they do every Spring. The state and federal agencies that keep track of snow depth and river levels say the warm weather of the past week, and especially today.

Temperatures have sped up the snow melt. With as much as two inches of rain forecast for Tuesday, they say there is definitely a risk of flooding in some places.

Greg Stewart, of the U.S. Geological Survey, says the accumulated snow in the mountain areas contains six to eight inches of water. He says that additional heavy rain, following the warm weather of the last few days, will mean a lot more of that water will be released to run into streams and rivers.

MEMA officials say they're most concerned about the Kennebec River between Skowhegan and Gardiner, but also expect some flooding in other areas, such as Fryeburg, that often see water problems. In addition, the USGS says there is a risk of ice jams on northern rivers, including the St. John and Carrabassett, which have already had some jams reported.

MEMA is advising everyone living near rivers and streams to keep close watch on water levels Tuesday and Wednesday. It also reminds drivers that it is never safe to drive through flooded roads. The NWS flood watch for the state continues through Wednesday.


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