A worker with the Maine Department of Transportation works May 1 on a flooded River Road in Skowhegan. Officials are warning of the potential for flash flooding through Tuesday afternoon in areas of Somerset County as storms move through the region. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch Monday for Somerset County that was expected to run from later Monday through Tuesday afternoon, as storm systems are forecasted to deliver several inches of rain in some areas.

Michael Smith, director of the Somerset County Emergency Management Agency, said Monday that storms are expected to bring 2 to 3 inches of rain to Somerset County over a 24-hour period.

Because the storms are expected to move slowly and drop heavy rain, forecasters from the National Weather Service in Gray said there is high risk of flash flooding in parts of Franklin, Oxford and Somerset counties, particularly from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Kennebec County is not expected to be affected significantly by the rainfall, and an official said the county’s emergency management agency is monitoring the situation.

Smith said forecasters had not specified Monday the areas of Somerset County where flash flooding is likely, but he expected to know more early Tuesday.

No large rivers, such as the Kennebec River, are expected to flood, but some smaller tributaries in lower-lying areas could overflow, Smith said.


Forecasters from the weather service said the flooding is the product of a “dynamic weather system” capable of producing multiple rounds of rain and thunderstorms in much of western, central and southern Maine.

Meteorologist Jon Palmer told the Portland Press Herald the weather pattern can be described as “training,” wherein storms line up on top of one another — often moving over the same area — and dump heavy rain on the area for a short time. Palmer said much of Maine could see thunderstorms embedded within the storm train.

Smith advised those living in areas where a flood watch has been issued to exercise caution, including when driving.

“If the road is flooded, turn around,” Smith said Monday. “I’ve seen it too many times — people get stranded in floodwater. You don’t know what it’s like beneath the surface.”

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Jessica Lowell contributed to this report.

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