LINCOLN, Maine — The unusually dry weather is forcing the delay of wood burning at the town Transfer Station and the grading of the town’s nine miles of dirt roads, town officials said Friday.
“We’re a month behind schedule,” Public Works Director David Lloyd said. “If we don’t get some rain shortly, [we’ll] have trouble getting town roads all graded up before the cold weather hits.”
The town’s road grading involves laying a calcium and water mixture down as the roads are rolled flat to help keep dust levels minimal, but with the weather this dry, the calcium and dirt just turn powdery and blow away, Lloyd said.
The wood storage area at the station is closed this weekend as the pile of wood debris left by residents is large and getting unwieldy, Town Manager Lisa Goodwin said in a statement.
Lloyd and Lincoln Fire Chief Phil Dawson discussed having firefighters stand by as the wood is burned, but Lloyd ultimately resisted the idea, saying the water applied to the flames makes the ash twice as heavy and much more costly to haul away.
They might revisit the idea next week, Lloyd said.
“We’re really hoping that we’ll get some rain this weekend, enough to allow us to start doing the roads again,” Lloyd said.
That might not happen, said Joseph Hewitt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Caribou.
Rainfall accumulations in the Bangor area since July 1 have been very low, though Hewitt stops short of calling it a mini-drought.
The most likely sizable accumulation of rain won’t occur until next Wednesday at the earliest, Hewitt said, adding that weather fronts visible over the Midwest on Friday made even that possibility unlikely.
In July, 2.15 inches of rain fell in the Bangor area, well off the average July accumulation of 3.24 inches. So far this month, 0.87 inches of rain have fallen, compared to the normal amount of 1.89 inches, Hewitt said.
“It’s extremely dry right now,” he said.