August 18, 2019

Despite heavy rain, no floods reported

A flood warning remained in effect for the Kennebec River in Skowhegan on Friday while other rivers around the state also came close to spilling over their banks.

Officials at the Maine Emergency Management Agency have been monitoring Maine’s rivers over the last few days as more rain fell on the state. They continued to watch water levels on Friday, but officials said no flooding had been reported from anywhere in the state.

“We were concerned about this last rainstorm,” said MEMA Director Art Cleaves on Friday. Severe flooding in the western Maine region last week, specifically in Canton, had officials worried that the most recent rain would cause rivers to exceed their banks again.

“The Penobscot [River] is up and a little bit of a concern,” Cleaves said.

Fear of ice jams causing localized flooding also was a worry, but Cleaves said none had been reported as of Friday afternoon.

“Everything is up to very close to flood stage again,” Cleaves said. “[But] I haven’t heard of anything that’s overtopped at all.”

Cleaves said he assumed that everything was “in pretty good shape” as of Friday afternoon. Clear skies for the next few days should provide some time for water levels to recede without any additional precipitation, according to the National Weather Service forecast.

“Generally, it looks like the rivers went down during the last couple days,” NOAA meteorologist Mark Bloomer said Friday. “A couple rivers have begun rising again recently, [Thursday] night and early [Friday] morning, in response to [Thursday] night’s rainfall, but they don’t look like they’re anywhere near flood stage.”

The Penobscot River reportedly was rising the last time weather officials checked on Friday, but it looked as if it was still many feet away from flood stage, Bloomer said.

No rain is expected in the near future.

“It looks like the weekend will be generally sunny, dry and unseasonably mild,” Bloomer said.

The next precipitation most likely will come in the form of light rain on Tuesday, but officials don’t expect any big washouts.

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