AUGUSTA — Much of Maine is under a flood watch through Wednesday with between one and three inches of rain expected statewide.

The National Weather Service put Kennebec, Somerset, Franklin, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Cumberland, Androscoggin, Knox, Waldo and York counties under a flood watch on Sunday, saying that runoff and snow melting in the mountains could keep the threat of flooding high through Tuesday night. Tom Hawley, a hydrologist for the weather service in Gray, said higher rain totals are expected along the coast with less in the mountains.

Hawley said the Kennebec River will likely get above flood stage, sending water into low-lying places like the waterfront parking lot in downtown Augusta and Front Street in downtown Hallowell, but he said it should be “nothing major.” Minor flooding could also occur on the Androscoggin River in Auburn, he said. Coastal flood watches are in effect from York to Washington counties.

Showers are expected for the rest of the week with average daily high temperatures around 53 degrees in Augusta through Friday and lows below 40 degrees. Hawley said while that “may not make the rivers go up any higher, it may keep that crest up.”

Forecasters have larger concerns in other parts of Maine. Near the town of Mattawamkeag in Penobscot County, the Mattawamkeag River went above flood stage on Monday morning with the minor flooding expected to last there through Wednesday.

In Aroostook County, the weather service said ice jams on the St. John River near Van Buren are starting to move. Ice jam floods have been a large problem on the Canadian side of the St. John in Perth-Andover, N.B., where 200 people were evacuated as that river and another threatened to exceed their banks, according to the CBC. The evacuation order was lifted on Monday.

On Monday, the Kennebec River was well within its banks in low-lying spots around Augusta. Sean Goodwin, interim director of the Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency, said without high rain totals in the river’s headwaters, the river’s flood potential isn’t much of a concern. However, if between two and three inches of rain falls locally, he said he’d be worried about washouts and culvert problems along rural roads in places like Mount Vernon, Vienna and Readfield.

“We’ll start gathering information tonight and obviously into tomorrow as things progress,” he said.

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652

[email protected]

Twitter: @mikeshepherdme


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