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Ice On Maine Rivers Are Frozen In Place. When Will The Melting Begin, And Will It Cause Flooding?

| March 7, 2014

RiverFlooding from WAGM-TV on Vimeo.

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The cold temperatures right now will simply delay the inevitable melting of Maine rivers. That’s the conclusion from yesterdays River Flow Advisory Commission meeting in Augusta.   Here’s more on the Emergency Management Agency’s plan of action for potential floods in Aroostook County, and what type of conditions would cause flooding.

It would take at least two days with temperatures at least in the 50′s and staying above freezing overnight, for the ice on the Aroostook River to melt and cause flooding. That’s the worst case scenario, but that’s not going to happen. Officials with the advisory commission are saying that things right now are frozen in place.  That’s the official word from the River Flow Advisory Commission. They’re made up of officials from a number of agencies, like the Emergency management Agency.

Darren Woods, EMA Director, “We still hope for the warm days and cold nights to kind of melt things during the day and then slow it down in the evening to allow for the rivers to catch up.”

The national weather service in Caribou says right now we’re going to stay locked in a cold weather pattern, and they don’t see any concerns in the near future.

Cory Bogel, NWS Meteorologist, “The ice has had an opportunity to grow where we have ice steps on many of the rivers across the area as great as two to even almost 3 feet at this point, and we’ve had one of the coldest starts to the month of March so that ice thickness is continuing to grow.”

When things do warm up, the big factor when it comes to flooding, is rain.

Corey Bogel, NWS Meteorologist, “So if we stay cold for another 2 or 3 weeks and then late march early april temperatures warm up to just what is average for this time of year, that along with some rainfall could create some issues.”

Those are issues that the Emergency management agency says will keep an eye on.

Darren Woods,  “We often times partner up with the Maine Forest Service and do fly overs just to check for ice jams – that kind of thing, and work with our local communities to make sure they’re prepared.

Woods says when things start warming up, residents can keep track of any flood advisories by checking out the Aroostook Emergency Management Agency facebook page.

Here’s a link for more information on the states flood season.    http://www.maine.gov/rfac/rfac_news_display.shtml?id=615922#.UxnQlfldWAg

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