Emergency Management News - Maine

 

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Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Urges Preparations Ahead Of Incoming Storm

2 hours 40 minutes ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) says brace for a slippery morning drive and asks the public to be vigilant in preparing for this evening's rain and windstorm. The National Weather Service offices in Gray and Caribou report the biggest impact is expected to be the gusty southerly winds with the potential for a brief period of damaging wind gusts along the Midcoast region this evening.

These strong winds and heavy rain have the potential to cause power outages from downed tree limbs. If you observe a downed power line, report it to your utility company. Citizens are reminded to never touch a downed power line or a tree in contact with a downed line. Motorists should slow down or change lanes when approaching utility crews working on roadways.

"We are monitoring this storm and working with our partners at the state, county and local levels to ensure they have any resources they may need," said MEMA Director Pete Rogers. "As always please stay safe and check on elderly or vulnerable neighbors and family members."

Outdoor decorations, furniture, and trash cans should be secured or put away until the storm passes.

To prepare for a power outage:

  • Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
  • charge cell phones and devices now.
  • Plan for batteries and other alternative power sources to meet your needs, such as a portable charger or power bank.
  • Have flashlights for every household member.
  • Have enough nonperishable food and water for each household member and pets for at least 72 hours.


If the power goes out keep freezers and refrigerators closed. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.

Mainers are reminded to ensure that alternate heat and power sources are in proper working condition and properly installed. Citizens are reminded to take the following steps when using a generator:

  • NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.
  • Follow the instructions that come with your generator. Locate the unit outdoors and at least 15 feet away from doors, windows, and vents. Make sure the generator's exhaust is directed away from doors, windows, and vents.
  • Install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up in your home, according to the manufacturer's instructions. CO alarms should be certified to the requirements of the latest safety standards (UL 2034, IAS 6-96, or CSA 6.19.01). Test batteries monthly.


After power and other utilities have been restored, you might face the issue of what to do with storm-damaged trees. Maine Forest Service offers tips and helpful guidance for those faces with questions about what to do with downed trees, limbs, and branches.

For more information and to keep updated on the latest conditions please follow MEMA on Facebook or Twitter.

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Annual Tier 2 Reporting Workshops

2 weeks ago
Maine Emergency Management is providing five Tier 2 reporting workshops throughout January and February 2023, virtually. This 3-hour workshop is for facilities that are required to report extremely hazardous substances and/or hazardous materials above reporting quantities.

Please see attached worksheet for dates.

State Emergency Response Commission October Meeting Minutes 2022

1 month ago
The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) held their regular meeting October 27th, 2022.

Meeting minutes are linked below.

The SERC meets quarterly and all meetings are open to members of the public. If you plan to attend a meeting, please contact MEMA at least 24 hours in advance to confirm the meeting will take place as scheduled. If you have any questions or would like to attend a meeting, please call (207) 624-4400.

State Emergency Response Commission August Meeting Minutes 2022

1 month ago
The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) held their regular meeting August 15th, 2022.

Meeting minutes are linked below.

The SERC meets quarterly and all meetings are open to members of the public. If you plan to attend a meeting, please contact MEMA at least 24 hours in advance to confirm the meeting will take place as scheduled. If you have any questions or would like to attend a meeting, please call (207) 624-4400.

Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Continues Monitoring Wind And Rainstorm

1 month 2 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) cautions citizens about potentially flooded roads this evening and early tomorrow due to today's wind and rainstorm. The concern is falling leaves clogging storm drains, culverts, and small streams, causing them to swell into roadways. Residents and visitors are reminded to Turn Around, Don't Drown if they come across flooded roads. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of all flood-related deaths happen when a vehicle has attempted to cross into flood waters. It only takes 6 inches of flowing water to knock a person over, and 12 inches to render a car useless. Never attempt to cross flood waters.

The National Weather Service in Caribou reports a slow cold front will continue moving through northern and eastern Maine this evening with wind gusts up to 50 mph at times. A flood watch is in effect for this portion of the state, with particular concern from Bucksport to Bangor to Millinocket where 2-3 inches of rain is expected.

"We continue monitoring this storm and working with our partners at the state, county, and local levels to ensure any resource requests are fulfilled," said MEMA Director Pete Rogers. "We have been in communication with the major utility companies. They have lined up extra crews that are being deployed to the most affected areas like Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York Counties."

At the height of the power outages this afternoon Central Maine Power reported 69,500 customers were without power while Versant Power only saw about 1,300 outages and they do not anticipate any major outages this evening.

The Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) reports the Swift River in Oxford County has crested over Route 17. Flooding has closed the section of the road from town of Bryon to Township "E". There is no detour established at this time for the closure. Currently DOT does not believe there is any damage to the road or bridges, but they will evaluate the situation once the water subsides. Also, DOTs ferry terminals in Lincolnville and Rockland are closed to the islands of Islesboro, North Haven, and Vinalhaven.

In the event of a power outage Mainers are reminded to ensure that alternate heat and power sources are in proper working condition and properly installed. Folks are reminded to take the following steps when using a generator:

  • NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.
  • Follow the instructions that come with your generator. Locate the unit outdoors and at least 15 feet away from doors, windows, and vents. Make sure the generator's exhaust is directed away from doors, windows, and vents.
  • Install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up in your home, according to the manufacturer's instructions. CO alarms should be certified to the requirements of the latest safety standards (UL 2034, IAS 6-96, or CSA 6.19.01). Test batteries monthly.


After power and other utilities have been restored, you might face the issue of what to do with storm-damaged trees. Maine Forest Service offers tips and helpful guidance for those faces with questions about what to do with downed trees, limbs, and branches.

For more information and to keep updated on the latest conditions please follow MEMA on Facebook or Twitter.

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State Drought Task Force Says Drought Conditions Have Improved Across Maine

1 month 3 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine's Drought Task Force convened virtually yesterday, October 6, for the third time this season to discuss drought conditions across the state. Data from the U.S. Drought Monitor show nearly 8% of the state is abnormally dry (11 of 16 counties) and about 3% is experiencing moderate drought (6 of 16 counties) by area. An estimated 34% of Maine's population resides in abnormally dry or drought-stricken areas.

Following our last meeting, August ended with normal streamflow conditions through most of Maine. These conditions worsened through mid-September, but this below normal condition was brief, however, as late September rains flipped the trend to above normal streamflows. August and September storms resulted in recharge in some of the groundwater monitoring wells hardest hit by drought and low snowpack over the last 2 years. While the recharge wasn't necessarily significant, it's a sign that intermittent storms are actually reaching the aquifers, instead of simply running off into streams, evaporating or quenching dry soil.

"Maine's water resources are starting to benefit from September rains, with streamflows in a mostly normal condition and below normal groundwater levels in western Maine showing improvement, as well," said Nick Stasulis, Data Section Chief of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Co-chair of the Drought Task Force. "Below normal streamflows in northern Maine remain an area to watch but aren't particularly concerning at this time."

A total of 95 dry private wells have been reported this season with 97% of those reported by the users as being residential. The month of August saw the greatest increase of dry wells reported this season. Maine homeowners with dry wells are encouraged to report this information on the Dry Well Survey. For assistance filling out the survey Mainers can either call 211 or 1-877-463-6207, or they can text their Maine zip code to 898-211.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Drinking Water Program (DWP) has not received any new reports of water quantity issues from public water systems (PWSs). The Stonington Water Company issued emergency mandatory water use restrictions on July 21, 2022, that are still in effect.

The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestrys Maine Forest Service reports there have been 624 wildfires, burning a total of 390 acres, as of October 6, 2022. The five-year average is 646 wildfires.

The Maine Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, through the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry in partnership with multiple organizations in Maine, and managed by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, seeks applicants for Small Grants to Support Maine Agricultural Well-Being. Awards of up to $5,805 with a total of $46,440 available. Applications are open now until November 15th. Farmers may apply here.

The Drought Task Force is made up of state, federal and private scientific, agricultural, regulatory, water use and natural resources organizations and assists in monitoring, coordinating, and managing responses to droughts and recommends actions to minimize impacts to public health, safety, the environment, and agriculture. This concludes the scheduled virtual meetings for the 2022 Drought Task Force season unless conditions warrant an additional meeting in November.

For more information please visit:

State Drought Task Force Says Recent Rainfall Eases Drought Conditions In Maine

1 month 3 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine's Drought Task Force convened virtually yesterday, September 8, for the second time this season to discuss drought conditions across the state. Data from the U.S. Drought Monitor show nearly 40% of the state is abnormally dry (12 of 16 counties), less than 6% is experiencing moderate drought (10 of 16 counties), and just over 3% is in severe drought (7 of 16 counties) by area. An estimated 28% of Maine's population resides in abnormally dry or drought-stricken regions.

The National Weather Service Offices in Gray and Caribou report in August, the weather pattern did an abrupt U-turn for many areas across the state. The Mid-Coast and northern Aroostook County were the two areas to receive below normal precipitation. Meanwhile, Central Maine and York County received 4+ inches above normal. This helped bring those areas closer to normal for the season, although parts of southern Maine were far enough behind normal that they still show a deficit.

Despite recent rain events, severe drought conditions remain in portions of 7 counties along the coast from York County to Penobscot Bay. This is the sixth continuous week of severe drought in these counties; an additional two weeks will be needed to trigger emergency assistance from USDA.

"While the recent steady rainfall has certainly improved drought conditions, we are not out of the woods yet," said MEMA Director Pete Rogers. "August conditions have brought an increase in reports of dry wells so we continue to ask Mainers who are experiencing dry wells to please report them on the Dry Well Survey."

A total of 87 private wells have been reported dry this season with 77 of those being residential. Maine homeowners with dry wells are encouraged to report this information on the Dry Well Survey. For assistance filling out the survey Mainers can either call 211 or 1-877-463-6207, or they can text their Maine zip code to 898-211.

"For farmers that have invested in irrigation and soil health practices, crops are looking good," said Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Public Service Coordinator Tom Gordon. "Drought has increased operating costs, particularly for labor and diesel fuel. For farmers who have not invested in irrigation, the outlook is for reduced quantity and quality of yields."

Groundwater levels are normal to above normal in northern and eastern Maine, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The remainder of the monitoring wells experiencing the worst drought conditions in 2022, vary from "normal" along the I-295 corridor, to "below normal" just west of the I-95 corridor. Of particular concern is the area around Oxford where monitoring well ME-OW1214 has been showing the lowest months on record since May, based on 42 years of record at the site. However, these and many other monitoring wells have shown small amounts of recharge from rain over the last two weeks.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Drinking Water Program (DWP) has not received any new reports of water quantity issues from public water systems (PWSs) since mid-August. The Stonington Water Company issued emergency mandatory water use restrictions on July 21, 2022, that are still in effect.

The Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestrys Maine Forest Service reports there have been 596 wildfires, burning a total of 387 acres, as of September 8, 2022.

The Drought Task Force is made up of state, federal and private scientific, agricultural, regulatory, water use and natural resources organizations and assists in monitoring, coordinating, and managing responses to droughts and recommends actions to minimize impacts to public health, safety, the environment, and agriculture. The next virtual Drought Task Force meeting is scheduled for October 6th at 1 p.m.

For more information please visit:

Maine Emergency Management Agency Urges Caution As The Outskirts Of Hurricane Fiona Approach

1 month 3 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is closely monitoring the track of Hurricane Fiona and is working with County Emergency Management Agencies, the National Weather Service, other State agencies and utilities to prepare for the possibility of damaging winds, rough seas, rain and power outages. Fiona is expected to have the most impact on coastal areas and eastern Maine between Friday evening and midday Saturday as it tracks toward Nova Scotia, Canada. MEMA has offered support to Canadian partners, through the International Emergency Management Group (IEMG) and International Emergency Management Assistance Compact (IEMAC).

"We are working with all of our partners to prepare for Hurricane Fiona," said Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Pete Rogers. "While Hurricane Fiona is not predicted to be a direct hit for our state, we urge residents to be prepared and monitor local forecasts."

The National Weather Service Offices in Gray and Caribou report Fiona has weakened to a Category 4 Hurricane. The Bangor area could see wind gusts of 40-50 mph, Washington County 60-65 mph in Eastport and Lubec, Aroostook County 45-55 mph, and western Maine in the 30-40 mph range. In addition to the high wind threat, high surf is possible Friday evening through the day Saturday as well as an increased risk for rip currents. Large waves can present a danger to people on rocks above the water. Stay away from rocks along the shoreline exposed to ocean waves, as waves can easily sweep people into the cold ocean water.

Steps people can take to prepare for the storm include:

  • Check that your emergency kit includes supplies needed for several days without power, including food, water, and hand sanitizer. Also consider medications, pet food or other special needs.
  • Get the latest alerts and warnings on your smartphone by downloading the free FEMA app or National Weather Service app.
  • Ensure cell phones are enabled to receive National Weather Service Wireless Emergency Alerts for tornadoes, flash flooding and other emergency situations.
  • Charge cell phones and other electronic devices.
  • Determine local evacuation routes.
  • Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Remove boats and other watercraft from the water and secure them.
  • Ensure generators are properly installed, fueled, and in good working order.


  • In the event of flooding, do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don't Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one food of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.

    Prepare for a power outage:

  • Find Alternate Power Sources. Plan for batteries and alternative power sources to meet your needs when the power goes out, such as a portable charger or power bank. Have flashlights for every household member. Remember, never use a generator indoors.
  • Appliances. Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges. Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Food Storage. Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. A refrigerator will keep cold for four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. If you are in doubt, monitor temperatures with a thermometer and throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
  • Know Your Medical Needs. If you rely on electricity for any medical needs, make a power outage plan for medical devices or refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
  • Cleanup. After power and other utilities have been restored, you might face the issue of what to do with storm-damaged trees. Maine Forest Service offers tips and helpful guidance for those faced with questions about what to do with downed trees, limbs, and branches.


  • Hurricane season runs June 1 - November 30. Please visit Maine Emergency Management Agency on Facebook or Twitter.

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