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Warm temperatures, soaking rain expected to raise rivers

CARIBOU, Maine — Emergency management personnel in Aroostook County are watching area lakes and rivers, as warm temperatures and significant rain are expected to raise area rivers and waterways over the weekend and into next week.

Darren Woods, director of the Aroostook County Emergency Management Agency, said Friday that while there is no emergency situation at this point, officials are concerned about the weather forecast for the next few days.

“I expect things may change over the weekend and into Monday and Tuesday,” he said. “The temperatures are predicted to go up and we are supposed to get a significant amount of rain. This is not an exact science, but obviously that may raise the river and water levels a bit.”

Mark Bloomer, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Caribou, said Friday that Saturday will be the warmest day. High temperatures could reach 60 degrees in some parts of the state, which will be 12 to 14 degrees above normal.

“There will be significant melting over the weekend,’ he said. “People living along the rivers should be aware.”

As of Friday afternoon, the Aroostook River in Washburn was at 11.99 feet, which is below flood stage of 14 feet.

At Masardis, the Aroostook River has a flood stage of 17 feet, and was at 9.22 feet as of noon Friday. The Fish River at Fort Kent was at 4.96 feet, well below the flood stage of 11 feet. The St. John River in Fort Kent was at 11.74 feet, while flood stage is 22.5 feet.

Bloomer said that a “big,soaking rain,” could bring between 1 to 2 inches of rain to parts of Maine on Monday. The rain is part of a storm system moving into the state from the south.

Woods said that he has been working with state and local officials for the past three months to prepare for flood season.

He also mentioned a Facebook page, Aroostook County Flood Watch, launched with the purpose of notifying County residents of any floods. The page contains notifications about potential flooding emergencies and the public is also welcome to submit pictures of floods or bodies of water that are near flooding.

On Friday, some folks were posting photos of some rivers that are beginning to open up in spots, including the St. John, St. Francis and Aroostook rivers.

“We have things in place so we don’t need to be scrambling,” Woods said. “But right now, we just need to be monitoring conditions.”

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