Despite a little rain this week, a section of central Maine is now considered to be suffering a “severe drought” and most of the state is experiencing a moderate one.

Half the monitoring stations measuring stream flows in the state are at record low levels for this time of year and nearly all of them are well below the normal standards.

The U.S. Drought Monitor said the severe drought area in Maine, mostly in Somerset County but also impacting sections of surrounding counties, including Franklin, is seeing decreased soil moisture and low stream levels as “short-term precipitation deficits grew.”

A growing severe drought in Maine is centered on Somerset County but most of the state is seeing a moderate drought. U.S. Drought Monitor

In much of the rest of Maine, including everything below Aroostook and Washington counties, a moderate drought “increased its aerial grip on the state,” according to the monitoring site run the by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

During the past seven days, stream flows in most of Maine have been exceedingly low. Portions in red are at the lowest possible level. Brown is a little better. U.S. Geological Survey

The state’s Drought Task Force said  “drought conditions have rapidly intensified” in Maine this month “and this trend is expected to continue into summer.”

With private wells already running dry in at least Cumberland and Aroostook counties, the Maine Emergency Management Agency has published an online survey for homeowners to report problems with their wells and learn about opportunities for assistance.

There haven’t been any issues with public drinking water supplies.

The Androscoggin River flow at Rumford has been at all-time record lows for this time of year nearly every day for the past month. Other measuring stations along the river are posting figures that are abnormally low. 

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