Officials Warn Of Flooding To Come From Rain Snow Melt

AUGUSTA — Emergency management officials are warning that the Kennebec River could come over its banks as snow melts and up to 2 inches of rain falls on Friday and Saturday.

“Will the Kennebec River come up? Yes,” said Sean Goodwin, Kennebec County’s emergency management director, in an emailed announcement to the area’s first responders. “Will the river come over the banks? Most likely not, but keep in mind … with all the melting, we could have an ice jam anywhere on the river. We have had ice jams before, sometimes with no problems, other times with big problems.”

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Goodwin referred to past floods, in which the river went up 5 feet over six minutes and inundated Front Street in Augusta, flooding buildings and cars.

The temperature reached 50 degrees Friday in central Maine, but cold, drier air was forecast to enter the region Saturday and send overnight temperature plummeting to single digits.

The National Weather Service also issued a flood warning Friday for Maine and New Hampshire, warning that up to 3 inches of rain could fall.

According to the flood announcement, the “very warm temperatures” would lead “to considerable snowmelt and runoff. The combination of these two factors will lead to river rises and potential for ice jams. Any ice jams could produce rapid rises in river levels.”

By midday Saturday, the rain that has fallen should turn to ice, Goodwin added.

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