March 29, 2020
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Flood warning issued for northern Maine

FORT KENT, Maine – A flood warning issued by the National Weather Service in Caribou remains in effect through late Sunday morning for northwestern Aroostook County.

According to long-time river observer Roy Gardner of Allagash, the warning was issued in response to rapidly rising waters on the Allagash River behind an ice jam near Nine Mile Bridge.

“I really don’t see anything at all to worry about today,” Gardner said Saturday evening. “We’ve got some little (jams) along the river but the water is moving along fine.”

Gardner has been the official river observer for the New Brunswick Department of the Environment for close to three decades.

He said three smaller ice jams are near the big rapids about a mile upriver from the town of Allagash, near Cross Rock and at the confluence of the Allagash and St. John Rivers.

With no significant rain predicted until Tuesday, Gardner said he does not see any imminent threat of a flood, but added it’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to the river and spring thaw.

“There’s still about five- or six-inches of water trapped in the snow still in the woods,” he said. “There could be a lot of run-off if we get a lot of rain (and) it’s better to let people know what’s going on.”

The NWS predicts the Nine Mile Bridge ice jam will continue to move downriver toward Dickey over the next 24 hours with additional ice movement expected along the St. John, Allagash and St. Francis Rivers.

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