AUGUSTA — The Kennebec River crested its banks Sunday morning, but according to Tom Hawley, a hydrologist for the National Weather Service, “we dodged a bullet.”

“We’re lucky we didn’t get more rain than we did, otherwise, with snow in the mountains, there could have been more flooding,” he said.

Friday afternoon, the NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service estimated the river could reach as high as 19.4 feet, however, conditions changed and the river did not rise that high, and is predicted to be 14.5 feet Monday afternoon.

The USGS gage on Augusta’s Calumet Bridge at Old Fort Western reported the river reaching 13.21 feet around noon Sunday; the National Weather Service flood stage for that site is 12 feet. It was expected to increase to nearly 14 feet by the afternoon, Hawley said.

“There are no problems right now except for inconvenience of parking,” said Sean Goodwin, director of the Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency.

Water has crept onto Front Street near Waterfront Park in Augusta, over the bulkhead in Hallowell, and into Gardiner Landing. Police in Augusta and Hallowell have blocked parking near the water.  

“We’ll keep a wary eye just in case it sneaks up,” Goodwin said, warning there could be flooding at the mouth of Cobbosseecontee Stream in Gardiner.

Hawley said there is a chance of showers off and on through the middle part of the week.

“I don’t think it’s enough rainfall to bring the rivers higher than they are, but they will remain high through the week,” he said.

Flooding like what occurred Sunday isn’t unusual for this time of year.

“This is an event that happens most every year,” Hawley said.

Minor flooding also has occurred on the Androscoggin and Saco rivers.

 


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