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Environment and Outdoors

Some Maine counties remain under 'severe' drought

Western Maine continues to experience drought conditions, although officials say a big snow event in March could help recharge groundwater supplies.

The Maine River Flow Advisory Commission says stream flow and groundwater levels are in the normal range for much of the state. But maps from the U.S. Drought Monitor program show "severe drought" conditions in parts of Somerset, Franklin and Oxford counties along the Maine-Canada border. Other areas of western and northern Maine are experiencing "abnormally dry" or "moderate drought" conditions.

Coast Guard representatives serving on the commission say ice levels on rivers have been in the low-to-normal range this winter. Coast Guard icebreakers have been active for more than 180 hours on the Penobscot River so far and tentatively plan to break up ice in the Kennebec River in late-March.