July 20, 2019
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Kennebec River flooding forces closure of Front Street in Augusta

It’s April in Maine’s capital, and once again the Kennebec River has flooded the parking lot along Front Street.

Front Street has been closed all weekend, according to Augusta police Sgt. Christian Behr, as flood warnings indicated that the river would likely crest its banks.

“It’s pretty much normal for what we see this time of year,” Behr said. The river floods in this area “just about every year because of the warmer temps and rain that comes in April.”

Police were able to make contact with the owners of vehicles parked in the lot by Friday night, so the lot was empty when the river began to flood into the area early Sunday morning, Behr said.

Behr said the flooding Sunday morning has not been as severe as it has been in previous years.

“There has been some worse years,” he said. “For what’s happening, it seems to be pretty much normal.”

Front Street will be closed until further notice, Behr said.

Across Maine, this weekend’s rain and warmer temperatures are promoting flooding concerns, especially along smaller streams. Meteorologists said Saturday that it could be early into the work week before the water levels on larger rivers start to rise.

Most of northern and eastern Maine, including Bangor, is still under a flood watch, as of Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Some cities and towns along rivers, including Augusta and Skowhegan, are currently under a flood warning.

A significant portion of Aroostook County, stretching from Caribou to Houlton, was under a flash flood warning Sunday morning.

Meteorologists said the warmer temperatures are also melting a significant snowpack still left in northern and western parts of the state, further compounding flooding concerns.

 



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