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State Emergency Response Commission Meeting Minutes October 2021

5 days 12 hours ago
The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) held their regular meeting October 12th, 2021. Due to COVID-19 we held this meeting via MS Teams.

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 Drought Task Force Says Drought Conditions Improve As The Season Comes To An End

3 weeks 5 days ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine's Drought Task Force convened virtually yesterday, September 23rd for the fourth time this season to discuss drought conditions across the state. Data from the U.S.">https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?ME">U.S. Drought Monitor show 54% of the state is abnormally dry, about 32% is experiencing moderate drought, and less than 5% is in severe drought while 45% of the state is experiencing no drought. September has brought above normal rainfall, however year to date deficits continue for most of the state. Sarah Jamison of the National Weather Service Office in Gray said, "widespread soaking rain moves in Friday into Sunday, followed by scattered shower activity into next week. If that forecast plays out, expect to see continued reduction in drought footprint next week."

"The lowest groundwater levels in the state remain along the New Hampshire border up to the border with Canada in western/northwestern Maine," said Nick Stasulis, Data Section Chief of the U.S. Geological Survey and Co-chair of the Drought Task Force. "With cooling temperatures, an ending growing season and potential for typical fall rains, it's a promising time to further improve drought conditions."

The USDA Farm Service Agency has received a Secretarial Disaster Designation dated 8/13/2021 due to the drought situation, which opens a">https://www.farmers.gov/protection-recovery/drought">a number of farm assistance and loan programs for agricultural producers in Oxford, Franklin, Somerset, and Piscataquis counties, which have met the 8-week severe drought threshold on the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Public Service Coordinator Tom Gordon said, "agricultural conditions are reasonably good as we approach the end of the growing season. Potato harvest looks good for quality and quantity, with no major water use conflicts noted. Other crops are looking good, with the diminishing drought reducing the irrigation workload on producers."

DACF Maine Forest Service has responded to 25 fires in the last 30 days, with 5 fires in the last week. Regional Forest Ranger Matt Gomes said, as we move into fall, it is important to understand that fires, and sometimes large damaging fires, are still a threat. Fall brings leaf litter, reopened canopies for solar heating, drier fuels through lower relative humidity, as well as higher winds.

A total of 19 dry private wells have been reported this season with 90% of those being residential. Maine homeowners with dry wells are encouraged to report this information on the Dry">https://maine-dry-well-survey-maine.hub.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey. Mainers can either dial 211 or 1-877-463-6207, or they can text a Maine zip code to 898-211 for assistance with filling out the survey.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Preventions Drinking Water Program (DWP) has not received any new reports of water quantity issues from public water systems (PWS) since mid-August. The South Berwick Water District and the Stonington Water Company have issued emergency mandatory water use restrictions that are in effect into the fall.

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 meeting concluded the Drought Task Forces virtual meetings for 2021. However, the Task Force remains in communication and provides biweekly reports online.

For more information please visit:

- Maine Drought Task Force: https://www.maine.gov/mema/hazards/drought-task-force

- Drought Monitor: https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

- USGS Water Watch: https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/ - USGS Groundwater Watch: https://groundwaterwatch.usgs.gov/

- Northeast Drought Early Warning System (NE DEWS): https://nedews.nrcc.cornell.edu/

- Dry Well Survey: https://maine-dry-well-survey-maine.hub.arcgis.com/ - Wildfire Danger Report: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/wildfire_danger_report/index.html

State Drought Task Force Meeting Notes 8-23-2021

1 month 3 weeks ago
State of Maine Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management Maine Emergency Management Agency

DATE: August 30, 2021 CONTACT: Vanessa Corson EMAIL: vanessa.corson@maine.gov CELL PHONE: (207) 592-6201

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

State Drought Task Force Says Rain From Henri Did Not Substantially Improve Drought Conditions in Maine

AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine's Drought Task Force convened virtually last Thursday, August 26 for the third time this season to discuss drought conditions across the state. The recent rain from Tropical Cyclone Henri was not enough to make a significant impact on drought conditions in Maine. Precipitation deficits continue across much of central and northern Maine. Streamflows in southern and coastal areas are in the normal range or above, but the upper parts of the Androscoggin, Kennebec, Penobscot, and Aroostook County basins are below normal. Data from the U.S. Drought Monitor show 30.06% of the state is abnormally dry, 34.62% is experiencing moderate drought, and 9.15% is in severe drought while 26.17% of the state is experiencing no drought.

"Though a large portion of the state is experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions, the majority of Maine's population resides outside of the impacted area," said Nick Stasulis, Data Section Chief of the U.S. Geological Survey and Co-chair of the Drought Task Force.

The USDA Farm Service Agency has received a Secretarial Disaster Designation dated 8/13/2021 due to the drought situation, which opens a number of farm assistance and loan programs for agricultural producers in Franklin and Somerset counties.

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Public Service Coordinator Tom Gordon said, producers are reporting excellent crop growth and quality in areas where drought conditions have diminished. Persistent showers have reduced the need for supplemental irrigation of crops in many areas. However, severe drought in northwestern Maine continues affecting the growth of hay and corn.

DACF Maine Forest Service has responded to 21 fires in the last 30 days, with 4 fires in the last week. Regional Forest Ranger Matt Gomes reports recent rain has mitigated fire danger for the moment and all of the 12 fire weather zones continue to calculate fire indices in the low range with an occasional moderate range.

A total of 17 dry private wells have been reported in 8 counties this season. At this time most reports are for dug wells, and 88% of all reported wells are for residential use. Maine homeowners with dry wells are encouraged to report this information on the Dry Well Survey. Mainers can either dial 211 or 1-877-463-6207, or they can text a Maine zip code to 898-211 for assistance with filling out the survey.

A Drought Task Force subcommittee has convened to discuss future updates to emergency bulk water hauling guidelines, additions to the certified water haulers list, and to establish best practices for bottled water requests and distribution during drought emergencies.

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 Task Force will continue to monitor the situation and plans to convene again on September 23, 2021 at 2 P.M. unless conditions worsen and would then consider meeting sooner.

For more information please visit: Maine Drought Task Force: https://www.maine.gov/mema/hazards/drought-task-force Drought Monitor: https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ USGS Water Watch: https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/ USGS Groundwater Watch: https://groundwaterwatch.usgs.gov/ Northeast Drought Early Warning System (NE DEWS): https://nedews.nrcc.cornell.edu/ Dry Well Survey: https://maine-dry-well-survey-maine.hub.arcgis.com/ Wildfire Danger Report: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/wildfire_danger_report/index.html

Henri Downgraded to Tropical Storm, Maine People Urged to Stay Vigilant

1 month 4 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is urging Maine people to stay vigilant to possible flash flooding, high surf, and dangerous rip currents caused by Tropical Storm Henri as it moves through the state. The State of Maine Emergency Operations Center has been partially activated to monitor storm conditions and will be at full activation on Monday. "We have missed most of the impacts of Tropical Storm Henri so far, but Maine is not in the clear just yet," said Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Rogers. "Maine people should stay vigilant for possible high surf along coastal areas, dangerous rip currents, and flash flooding, especially in southern Maine." Dangerous marine conditions will continue into tonight, with a flash flood risk and damaging winds potential for the state through Monday. Motorists are reminded to never drive through a roadway covered in water. Henri was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm as it made landfall Sunday off the coast of Rhode Island. The Maine Emergency Management Agency is working closely with its counterparts across southern New England hit hardest by the storm to make sure they have the resources they need to respond. Precautions Maine people can take during a storm include: - Be sure your generator is placed at least 15 feet from your home during use to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and that it is properly installed. - Be cautious of hazards that are a product of the storm, such as water due to flooding, sharp or broken objects, damaged tree limbs or other structures that may have been damaged by high winds or water. - Keep accurate records of your expenses and save bills and receipts from your temporary repairs. Keep accurate records of any other expenses incurred. - Take inventory of your emergency kit and replenish supplies like food, water, pet supplies, hand sanitizer and face masks. - Review your household emergency plan and discuss it with those who live with you. - Download the free FEMA app or National Weather Service app on your smartphone to receive alerts and warnings.

Hurricane season is June 1-November 30. Please visit the Maine Emergency Management Agency on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency Prepares for Tropical Storm Henri

2 months ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is closely monitoring the track of Tropical Storm Henri and is working with Maine's Emergency Response Team, County Emergency Management Agencies, the National Weather Service, FEMA and utilities to prepare for the possibility of damaging winds, rain, and power outages. Recent forecast models show Henri is expected to become a hurricane Friday and could make landfall in New England late Sunday or early Monday. Please note that at this early stage, forecast conditions may change. Please tune in to your trusted local news source for new developments and plan accordingly.

"We are working together with all our partners to plan for this event," said Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Rogers. "We are concerned about damaging winds, power outages, and the potential for coastal flooding."

Steps people can take to prepare for the tropical storm include:

- Build an emergency kit to include supplies needed for several days without power, including food, water, hand sanitizer, and face masks. - Make a household emergency plan and discuss it with those who live with you. - Get the latest alerts and warnings by downloading the free FEMA app or National Weather Service app on your smartphone. - Ensure cell phones are fully charged and are enabled to receive National Weather Service Wireless Emergency Alerts for tornadoes, flash flooding, and other emergency situations. - Avoid driving on flooded roadways. - Determine local evacuation">https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/4fb502bf0ea6467693ff4191a1859e92">evacuation routes. - Identify alternate shelter locations in case you need to evacuate. - Follow Covid-19 shelter guidelines such as wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands and avoiding congregate shelters if you are not feeling well. - Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans, birdfeeders, and anything else that is not tied down. - Remove boats and other watercraft from the water. - Ensure generators are properly installed, fueled, and in good working order while located at least 15 feet from your home and not in any sort of enclosure like a garage or shed.

Hurricane season is June 1-November 30. Please visit the Maine Emergency Management Agency on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Maine Emergency Management Agency Urges Residents And Visitors To Avoid Heat Related Illnesses

2 months 1 week ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) reminds residents and tourists of the dangers posed by extreme heat. The National Weather Service (NWS) offices in Caribou">https://www.weather.gov/car/">Caribou and Gray">https://www.weather.gov/gyx/">Gray report a multi-day stretch of hot and humid conditions is expected with a heat index in the mid-90s to near 100 in some areas. In addition, temperatures will stay elevated through the night with lows only dropping into the 70s in some locations. This will be a long duration cumulative heat event. A Heat Advisory is in effect from now through 8:00 PM Thursday, August 12 in Cumberland, Androscoggin, Oxford, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Kennebec, and Waldo Counties. A Heat Advisory is in effect from now until 6:00 PM Thursday, August 12 in Penobscot, Hancock, Washington, Piscataquis, and Aroostook Counties. And a Heat Advisory is in effect now through Friday, August 13 in York County. Relief from the heat is not expected until this weekend.

Folks can prepare for extreme heat by taking the following measures:

- Learn to recognize the signs">https://www.ready.gov/heat#illness">signs of heat illness. - Do not rely on fans as your primary cooling device. - Identify places in your community where you can go to cool off, i.e. the library, shopping mall, or contact your local authorities to find a cooling center nearby. - Keep windows covered with drapes or shades. - Weather-strip doors and windows. - Use window reflectors specifically designed to reflect heat back outside. - Add insulation to keep heat out. - Install window air conditioners and insulate around them. - If you are unable to afford your cooling costs, weatherization, or emergency-related home repairs, contact the Low">https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/623">Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for help.

To maintain health and safety during extreme heat Mainers and visitors are advised to:

- Never leave people or pets in a closed vehicle on a warm day. - If air conditioning is not available in your home go to a cooling center. - Take a cool shower or bath. - Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. - Use your oven less to help reduce the temperature in your home. - If you are outside, find shade. Wear a wide hat to protect your face, sunglasses to shield your eyes, and sunblock to protect your skin. - Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated. - Avoid high-intensity activities or outdoor tasks during midday heat, if possible. - Check on family members, seniors, and neighbors. - Consider pet safety. If they are outside make sure they have plenty of cool water and access to comfortable shade. - If wearing a mask, use one that is made of breathable fabric such as cotton. If you feel yourself overheating or have trouble breathing, find a safe space to remove your mask.

For a list of cooling centers in your area contact your town/city office. Please be aware of COVID-19 protocols in place to protect the health and safety of those utilizing these facilities. Additional info about cooling centers can be obtained by calling 2-1-1, texting your zip code to 898-211, or by visiting www.211Maine.org.">https://211maine.org/">www.211Maine.org.

More information about protection from heat exhaustion and heat stroke is available at www.Ready.gov.">https://www.ready.gov/">www.Ready.gov.

State Drought Task Force Says Drought Conditions Have Improved in Sections of Maine

2 months 2 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine's Drought Task Force convened virtually last Thursday, July 29th for the second time this season to discuss drought conditions across the state. While coastal Maine and into the far eastern portion of Aroostook County are not experiencing drought, central and northern Maine are considered abnormally dry, the interior portion is classified in moderate drought, and western Maine is the driest region with severe drought status. Data from the U.S.">https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?ME">U.S. Drought Monitor show 72% of the state is abnormally dry, 33% is moderately dry, and 8% is in severe drought.

"Perspective is important when it comes to the drought," said Nick Stasulis, Data Section Chief of the U.S. Geological Survey and Co-chair of the Drought Task Force. "Folks in coastal and eastern Maine may not think there's an issue as there's been improvement in streamflow conditions due to recent rain, but fast-moving storms are generally not conducive to groundwater recharge."

Heavy downpours during the past two weeks have aided in easing drought conditions. "We've been put into a weather pattern that is much wetter than we normally see," said Sarah Jamison of the National Weather Service in Gray. "May and June saw notably warmer temperatures, which increase evaporation of groundwater. July has been below normal temperature and wetter, though the rain has been heavy deluges that runs off; not a slow rain that allows for groundwater recharge."

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Public Service Coordinator Tom Gordon said, "Persistent showers have reduced the need for supplemental irrigation of crops in many areas. Many farmers are reporting improved crop growth and quality. Some crop loss was noted from early summer drought." Federal and state agricultural offices will continue to monitor precipitation and crop conditions.

A total of 15 dry wells have been reported this season. Private landowners in Maine who are experiencing dry wells are encouraged to report that information on the Dry">https://maine-dry-well-survey-maine.hub.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey.

"Conditions are looking better and that's good news, but it won't take much to push back the other way," said Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Rogers. "We're not out of the woods yet."

DACF's Maine Forest Service reports recent rains have helped the fire danger in many parts of the state. They have responded to 31 fires in the last 30 days, with just 5 fires in the last week. Regional Forest Ranger Matt Gomes said, "Most or all of our 12 fire weather zones have recently calculated fire indices hovering between low and moderate. It seems that much of our precipitation has been on the weekends where we historically experience the highest fire numbers. Having rain on a weekend deters many from burning and it certainly limits or eliminates the chance of a fire escaping. We should expect a rise in fire activity if we start into another prolonged drying trend."

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 Task Force will continue to monitor the situation and plans to convene again in one month unless conditions worsen and would then consider meeting sooner.

For more information, please visit:

- Maine">https://www.maine.gov/mema/hazards/drought-task-force">Maine Drought Task Force - Drought">https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu">Drought Monitor - USGS">https://waterwatch.usgs.gov">USGS Water Watch - USGS">https://groundwaterwatch.usgs.gov">USGS Groundwater Watch - Northeast">https://nedews.nrcc.cornell.edu">Northeast Drought Early Warning System (NE DEWS) - Dry">https://maine-dry-well-survey-maine.hub.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey

State Emergency Response Commission Meeting Minutes July 2021

2 months 3 weeks ago
The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) held their regular meeting July 13th, 2021. Due to COVID-19 we held this meeting via MS Teams.

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 Meeting Minutes July 2021

2 months 3 weeks ago
The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) held their regular meeting July 13th, 2021. Due to COVID-19 we held this meeting via MS Teams.

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 Meeting Minutes July 2021

2 months 3 weeks ago
The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) held their regular meeting July 13th, 2021. Due to COVID-19 we held this meeting via MS Teams.

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 Meeting Minutes July 2021

2 months 3 weeks ago
The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) held their regular meeting July 13th, 2021. Due to COVID-19 we held this meeting via MS Teams.

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 Meeting Minutes April 2021

2 months 3 weeks ago
The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) held their regular meeting April 13th, 2021. Due to COVID-19 we held this meeting via MS Teams.

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 Meeting Minutes Jan. 2021

2 months 3 weeks ago
The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) held their regular meeting January 12th, 2021. Due to COVID-19 we held this meeting via MS Teams.

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.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency Prepares for Post Tropical Cyclone Elsa

3 months 1 week ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is closely monitoring and tracking Elsa, which has been downgraded to a post tropical cyclone. MEMA is working with the Emergency Response Team, County Emergency Management Agencies, the National Weather Service, other State agencies and utilities to prepare for the possibility of wind, rain and power outages. The fast-moving storm will occur Friday afternoon into the evening. Wind gusts of up to 35 to 40 mph may impact the immediate coast.

"We are working together with all our partners to plan for this event," said Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Rogers. "With 1 to 3 inches of rain expected, Maine people should be aware that there is a potential for localized flash flooding."

MEMA is working with electric utilities to help facilitate getting additional crews in place to help expedite the power restoration process, if needed.

"The wind impacts are going to be minimal for most of the state. We live in Maine; we can handle 30 to 35 mph wind gusts," said Donald Dumont of the National Weather Service in Gray.

Steps people can take to prepare for this post tropical storm or any weather event include: - Build an emergency kit with several days' worth of supplies including food, water, hand sanitizer, and face masks.

- Make a family plan and discuss with your family.

- Get the latest alerts and warnings by downloading the free FEMA app or National Weather Service app on your smartphone.

- Ensure cell phones and electronic devices are fully charged and are enabled to receive National Weather Service Wireless Emergency Alerts for tornadoes, flash flooding, and other emergency situations.

- Avoid driving down flooded roadways.

- Determine local evacuation routes.

- Identify alternate shelter locations in case you need to evacuate.

- Follow Covid-19 shelter guidelines such as wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, and avoiding congregate shelters if you are not feeling well.

- Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.

- Remove or secure boats and other watercraft from the water.

- Ensure generators are properly installed, fueled, and in good working order.

Hurricane season runs June 1-November 30. Please visit the Maine Emergency Management Agency on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

State Drought Conditions Discussed at First Drought Task Force Meeting of 2021

3 months 2 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine's Drought Task Force convened virtually yesterday, June 30, to discuss drought conditions across the state. Maine saw a rainfall deficit in May and June this year, with Caribou and Portland logging the warmest June on record. However, central and western Maine are currently experiencing the most drought.

"We're already starting to see conditions month to month that are well below normal," said Nick Stasulis, Data Section Chief of the U.S. Geological Survey and Co-chair of the Drought Task Force. "We didn't get the significant spring recharge we were hoping to see."

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control, Drinking Water Program (DWP) report that many public water systems in Maine are currently taking steps to prepare for a drought and modify operations to accommodate low water.

Susan Breau with DWP added, "During the past few weeks we've received requests for assistance, mostly in the southern and coastal portions of the state."

Maine has seen some instances of dry wells, prompting the opening of the Dry">https://maine-dry-well-survey-maine.hub.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey for private landowners and private wells with 6 reported thus far.

Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Rogers expressed the importance of Drought Task Force members working in tandem through the summer. "I'm concerned about lightning strikes and dry well reports. It's really critical to keep information flowing," said Director Rogers.

Slight relief from the warm temperatures is in the forecast. "The heat will break down as we enter the holiday weekend. We can expect a good cool down with gradually decreasing humidity," said Sarah Jamison of the National Weather Service in Gray. "But the outlook for next week will heat up again."

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry noted that farmers who have irrigation are using it heavily in most areas of the state. "The first-cut hay crop has been good, but subsequent hay growth has been slow," said Tom Gordon, Public Service Coordinator. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension provides an online Hay">https://extension.umaine.edu/livestock/hay">Hay Exchange resource.

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 Task Force will continue to monitor the situation and plans to convene again in one month unless conditions worsen and would then consider meeting sooner.

For more information, please visit:

- Maine">https://www.maine.gov/mema/hazards/drought-task-force">Maine Drought Task Force - Drought">https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu">Drought Monitor - USGS">https://waterwatch.usgs.gov">USGS Water Watch - USGS">https://groundwaterwatch.usgs.gov">USGS Groundwater Watch - Northeast">https://nedews.nrcc.cornell.edu">Northeast Drought Early Warning System (NE DEWS) - Dry">https://maine-dry-well-survey-maine.hub.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey

State Drought Conditions Discussed at First Drought Task Force Meeting of 2021

3 months 2 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine's Drought Task Force convened virtually yesterday, June 30, to discuss drought conditions across the state. Maine saw a rainfall deficit in May and June this year, with Caribou and Portland logging the warmest June on record. However, central and western Maine are currently experiencing the most drought.

"We're already starting to see conditions month to month that are well below normal," said Nick Stasulis, Data Section Chief of the U.S. Geological Survey and Co-chair of the Drought Task Force. "We didn't get the significant spring recharge we were hoping to see."

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control, Drinking Water Program (DWP) report that many public water systems in Maine are currently taking steps to prepare for a drought and modify operations to accommodate low water.

Susan Breau with DWP added, "During the past few weeks we've received requests for assistance, mostly in the southern and coastal portions of the state."

Maine has seen some instances of dry wells, prompting the opening of the Dry">https://maine-dry-well-survey-maine.hub.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey for private landowners and private wells with 6 reported thus far.

Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Rogers expressed the importance of Drought Task Force members working in tandem through the summer. "I'm concerned about lightning strikes and dry well reports. It's really critical to keep information flowing," said Director Rogers.

Slight relief from the warm temperatures is in the forecast. "The heat will break down as we enter the holiday weekend. We can expect a good cool down with gradually decreasing humidity," said Sarah Jamison of the National Weather Service in Gray. "But the outlook for next week will heat up again."

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry noted that farmers who have irrigation are using it heavily in most areas of the state. "The first-cut hay crop has been good, but subsequent hay growth has been slow," said Tom Gordon, Public Service Coordinator. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension provides an online Hay Exchange resource at: https://extension.umaine.edu/livestock/hay/.">https://extension.umaine.edu/livestock/hay">https://extension.umaine.edu/livestock/hay/.

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 Task Force will continue to monitor the situation and plans to convene again in one month unless conditions worsen and would then consider meeting sooner.

For more information, please visit:

Maine Drought Task Force: https://www.maine.gov/mema/hazards/drought-task-force">https://www.maine.gov/mema/hazards/drought-task-force">https://www.maine.gov/mema/hazards/drought-task-force

Drought Monitor: https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/">https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/">https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

USGS Water Watch: https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/">https://waterwatch.usgs.gov">https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/

USGS Groundwater Watch: https://groundwaterwatch.usgs.gov/">https://groundwaterwatch.usgs.gov/">https://groundwaterwatch.usgs.gov/

Northeast Drought Early Warning System (NE DEWS): https://nedews.nrcc.cornell.edu/">https://nedews.nrcc.cornell.edu/">https://nedews.nrcc.cornell.edu/

Dry Well Survey: https://maine-dry-well-survey-maine.hub.arcgis.com/">https://maine-dry-well-survey-maine.hub.arcgis.com/">https://maine-dry-well-survey-maine.hub.arcgis.com/
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