Though the National Weather Service downgraded Elsa to a post-tropical storm, central Maine is still expected to get around 2 inches of rain by Friday evening.

National Weather Service meteorologist Nikki Becker said the Augusta and Waterville areas are on a flash flood watch until Saturday morning and, at a minimum, could expect 1 1/2 inches of rain.

She said the rainfall will be heaviest between noon and 8 p.m. Friday. The flood watch for the area is mainly for the amount of precipitation expected in a short period of time.

Becker said travel will be doable, but advised people not to drive — or walk — through flood water.

“The main area of concern is the coast,” she said, “that’s where it is expected to see the most precipitation.”

The storm becomes weaker as it moves away from its origin, Becker said.

Wind speeds are not expected to be high in central Maine, and the National Weather Service is not anticipating power outages.

A pair of pedestrians share an umbrella Friday and head toward the Front Street parking lot from Water Street in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Sean Goodwin, Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency director, said central Maine residents should look out for flooded roadways and avoid them.

He mentioned the Kennebec River and smaller streams could see a rise in water levels.

Goodwin also advised not to get close to the river once “it starts moving.” He said the agency will be “keeping an eye” out for power outages if the wind picks up.

Early Friday afternoon, Waterville Mayor Jay Coelho said that while there will always be concern with potential impacts from storms, he was confident city officials had everything under control. While flash flooding could pose a threat, he said, officials are not anticipating damaging wind.

Eion Pelletier, Waterville Fire Department battalion chief, also warned people about the dangers of driving on flooded roadways.

“Don’t ever drive through standing water or large bodies of flooded water,” said Pelletier, “you don’t know what’s underneath it.”

Coelho also suggested residents check their basements for flooding, use sandbags around garage doors, and to call the fire or police department if they need assistance.

“Nobody ever knows what’s going to happen with Mother Nature, but we’re going to put our best foot forward,” said Coelho. “I think we’ve got this.”

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