FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
BANGOR, Maine — Mainers are expected to feel the one-two punch this weekend of a pair of storms that forecasters predict will hit the state with high winds and as much as 6 inches of rain in some areas.
The National Weather Service issued flood watches for western, southern and coastal Maine today through Sunday morning and predicted “chaotic winds and seas” would create hazardous conditions for boaters and coastal residents over the weekend.
Given the forecasts, state emergency officials took no chances Friday as they urged families, businesses and communities to prepare.
“The biggest threat to safety will be the potential for small stream flooding and high wave action in coastal areas. We urge everyone to pay close attention to weather warnings and stay away from any flooded roadways or fast-running streams,” said Rob McAleer, director of the Maine Emergency Management Agency.
The forecasts also prompted organizers on Friday to call off a number of weekend festivals, fundraisers, sporting events and other activities.
The first of the storms began making its way north Friday from the Carolinas. Rain began falling Friday morning in southern and coastal sections of Maine and was spreading across the state during the day with the brunt of the storm expected to hit today.
Close on that unnamed storm’s heels is Tropical Storm Kyle, which is expected to dump even more rain on Maine on Sunday, according to Meteorologist Victor Nouhan of the National Weather Service office in Caribou.
Weather forecasts are calling for as much as 6 inches of rain along some coastal sections over the weekend, as well as high winds.
The western and southern portions of Maine are expected to be hardest hit, Nouhan said.
Working northward, the storms are expected to drop 4 to 5 inches in the Bangor area, 3-4 inches in eastern and central Aroostook County and by the time they reach the far north, closer to 2 inches, he said.
Forecasts calling for wind gusts of 15 to 20 knots on Saturday — expected to grow to 35 to 45 knots by Sunday night — prompted the National Weather Service to issue a small craft advisory for coastal waters from Eastport to Schoodic and from there to Stonington.
The weekend’s high winds were expected to produce seas of 5 feet or higher today and 9 to 14 feet Sunday.
The Maine Emergency Management Agency advised Mainers to keep disaster supplies on hand, prepare to evacuate if need be, secure outdoor furniture and arrange for the safety of pets and livestock.
The U.S. Coast Guard also was urging mariners to batten down the hatches in anticipation of Tropical Storm Kyle’s scheduled arrival Sunday.
The Coast Guard advised boat owners to secure their canoes, kayaks and other vessels before the storm. The agency also advised that boaters whose vessels break loose during the storm should notify the nearest Coast Guard station so that unnecessary rescue missions won’t be mounted, taking assets away from real distress calls.