It’s getting to be that time of the year, when Fort Kent residents start to get a little anxious about what might happen to the St. John river when the snow melts.
“Everybody’s concerned about flooding..am I concerned about flooding? All depends on Mother Nature,” said Mickey McBreairty of Fort Kent.
Town manager Don Guimond says the municipal building is getting phone call after phone call from concerned residents..they’re asking about the potential for flooding this year and asking about flood insurance.
“The record flood of ’08 is still in everybody’s minds or at least in their memories and so that heightens everybody’s awareness,” said Guimond.
Also heightening that awareness, the large amount of snow the county has received this winter and the fact that there are two bridges standing over the river, the old international bridge and the new international bridge. That means there are five bridge supports that don’t line up, which means obstacles for ice, which could mean ice jams and flooding.
“It’s just another element that we need to be concerned with — not to say its going to be a problem its just one of those things,” said Guimond.
“With the current ice conditions we aren’t expecting that to happen but it is something that we keep an eye on,” said Aroostook County emergency management agency director Darren Woods, who recently met with Fort Kent town officials to make sure the town is ready with a plan, just in case flooding does happen.
“Just making sure we’re being vigilant we’ve got people watching the river, watching the weather forecast, testing our radios,” said Woods.
“Anything can happen, anything. I’d be prepared for the worst and we hope for the best,” said McBreairty.
Guimond says awareness is a good thing. People don’t need to panic, just be prepared.