FORT KENT, Maine - In the St. John Valley, the word “flood” is not one that residents likely want to hear ever again.
But it was a term they were dealing with once again Thursday as the western part of the St. John Valley was under a flood watch, which remains in effect through today.
Mark Bloomer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Caribou, said Thursday that a slow-moving cold front was expected to cross the region Friday. Forecasters predicted the front would interact with an extremely moist southeast flow in place in advance of the front and produce the potential for locally heavy rainfall and possible flooding.
The Aroostook County towns and sites that could be affected include Allagash, Clayton Lake, Madawaska, Fort Kent, Frenchville, Chamberlain Lake and Churchill Dam.
Fort Kent and other St. John Valley and Aroostook County towns were damaged heavily by severe spring flooding earlier this year.
The flood watch also was in effect for some portions of Piscataquis and Somerset counties, where there also was a tornado watch through Thursday evening.
Forecasters expected 2 to 3 inches of rain to fall over the watch areas into today, with locally higher amounts possible.
The heavy rain was expected to bloat smaller bodies of water, such as brooks and streams, according to the National Weather Service. No flooding was expected on larger rivers.
Some parts of Aroostook already saw significant rainfall earlier this week when a July 21 storm dumped 3.10 inches of rain in Keegan, 2.86 inches in Van Buren and 2.03 inches in Caribou.
The NWS said earlier this month that New England has been in a wet pattern for much of May and June due to a highly amplified, persistent upper-level weather pattern that set up over the nation during this period. The pattern created an upper-level trough over the Northeast that has provided cool, wet conditions.
In June, some portions of the western and northern parts of the state received around 5 to 15 inches of rainfall over a 30-day period.
In Caribou, for instance, 5.87 inches of rain fell during June, which is 2.56 inches above normal for this time of year.