Flooding

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

In case you haven't noticed, heavy downpours are increasing in the northeast. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, they've increased by 70 percent since 1958. A heavy downpour is defined as a storm that produces two or more inches of water in 24 hours. And as temperatures warm, scientists are predicting that they'll become more frequent and intense.

NWS Caribou

Rain and snow-melt are creating flood spots around the state Sunday morning, especially throughout Northern Maine.

Parts of northern Maine could see some significant flooding this weekend into early next week as heavy rain and melting snow force rivers over their banks.

While there are no threats over the next couple of weeks, the potential for spring flooding is well above normal across the state. That's the assessment of the state's River Flow Advisory Commission, which met for the first time this season.

The National Weather Service says that an ice jam on the Kennebec River is continuing to cause problems.
The water level is rising in Augusta and, early this afternoon, was less than 1 foot below the flood stage level.
Forecasters say that due to the cold weather last night, soft ice is flowing downstream and accumulating in Augusta. More ice is expected to flow into the jam tonight.

HALLOWELL, Maine - Business owners in Maine's Kennebec County say they weren't adequately warned about flooding over the weekend.
 
The Kennebec Journal reports the National Weather Service issued a flood warning Friday for the Kennebec River before upgrading it Saturday. Officials say at least a dozen cars in Hallowell were submerged and basements in the city were damaged.
 
Hallowell business owners say they weren't warned by emergency officials. Police in Augusta warned drivers about parking in the flood plain.
 

The National Weather Service says the rapid snowmelt is going to cause minor flooding on the Kennebec River in Maine and on the Connecticut River that separates New Hampshire and Vermont.

GRAY, MAINE -  Coastal Flooding is expected tonight into early tomorrow in southern Maine and New Hampshire.  Forecasters have posted a coastal flood warning for the area 11 tonight until 3 a.m. Tuesday.

CARIBOU, Maine - Northernmost Maine remains under a flood watch today, as warming temperatures and melting snow cause water to build up behind ice jams and rivers in the area to rise. Ice remains a concern, as well, on the upper Penobscot and Piscataquis Rivers.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Federal weather forecasters say Maine remains at  higher-than-normal risk for flooding over the next two weeks.

Officials say river levels and stream flows are above normal because of melting snow, and that could present a problem with a rainstorm forecast for the coming week.

The River Flow Advisory Commission held a conference call Thursday, even as ice jams were creating problems around Allagash and Caribou in northern Maine.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Weather forecasters who're keeping a wary eye on Maine's frozen rivers say there's an above-normal threat of flooding and ice jams for most of the state over the next few weeks.

Officials told the River Flow Advisory Commission on Thursday that temperatures approaching 60 Friday - followed by rain overnight - could cause problems over the weekend.

Heavy rainfall is the biggest factor when it comes to spring flooding and ice jams on rivers. But the melting snow pack and ice are big contributors.

A.J. Higgins / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's rivers are in no immediate danger of flooding, but as the mercury rises, emergency management officials are concerned about problems caused by the melting snowpack.

Tom Porter / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ A storm that rolled through Maine set a rainfall record in Portland _ more than 6 inches - enough to cause street flooding and damage scores of cars.

Mike Kistner from the National Weather Service says the 24-hour total for Wednesday's storm was 6.43 inches at the Portland International Jetport. That's a new record for the date, and it's fifth on the state's all-time list.

Kistner said some manhole covers were blown off and that some parked cars floated into streets. Dozens of cars were damaged.

There were no reports of serious injuries.

Rain and melting snow are keeping rivers running high in northern New England, increasing the chance of flooding.  Almost all of the region, along with northern-most New York State are under flood watches.The National Weather Service said minor flooding occurred Sunday morning along the Barton River in Coventry, Vt., and urged anyone traveling near streams and rivers to seek higher ground at the first sign of rising water.