Emergency Management News - Maine

 

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Maine River Flow Advisory Commission 2022 Annual Meeting Reviews Ice Conditions, Flood Risks, and Continuing Drought

2 months 1 week ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - The Maine River Flow Advisory Commission met virtually yesterday to review statewide ice conditions, flood risks, and the continuing drought conditions in Western Maine.

Currently, Maine is experiencing persistent and noteworthy below normal stream flow and ground water conditions in Western Maine, while conditions in the rest of the state remain in the normal range. Snow-pack conditions are normal to below normal. The National Weather Service reports variable weather the next two weeks, with up and down temperatures that will allow for some potential snow and ice melt, with no strong signals for additional snowpack.

"I think we are all hopeful for a March snow event to beef up some of the snowpack," said Nicholas Stasulis, commission co-chair and Data Section Chief, U.S. Geological Survey. "Without the potential recharge from that melting snow, the long-standing drought in Maine will likely persist. One storm can change things quickly."

The US Coast Guard noted it has been a low to normal ice season. So far, they have clocked over 180 hours of ice breaking along the Penobscot River in Bangor. An ice breaking mission is tentatively planned by the US Coast Guard for the Kennebec River in late March.

Susan Baker, State Coordinator of the Floodplain Management Program, shared FEMA's new Risk Rating approach for flood insurance. The program is more comprehensive, with premiums more accurately reflecting a property's unique flood risks using a broader range of variables.

Maine's River Flow Advisory Commission consists of members from the US Geological Survey, Department of Environmental Protection, the National Weather Service in Gray and Caribou, the US Coast Guard, University of Maine, Maine Emergency Management Agency, and the National Flood Insurance Program.

The River Flow Advisory Commission is not expected to meet again unless conditions warrant.The report will be available online at www.maine.gov/mema or can be obtained from MEMA by calling 207-624-4400.

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Maine Emergency Management Agency Readies for Winter's Return as Snowstorm Approaches

2 months 3 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) staff, partner agencies, and utility companies are coordinating efforts to ready for the incoming winter storm. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for York and Cumberland counties, while areas of Washington, Waldo, Sagadahoc, Oxford, Knox, Kennebec, Lincoln, Hancock, Franklin, and Androscoggin counties are under a Winter Storm Watch.

The storm system will bring significant snowfall to southern Maine Friday, impacting the morning and evening commutes, while Downeast and northern Maine will see lighter snowfall amounts.

"With another storm set to impact the morning and evening commutes across the state, we can't stress enough the importance of taking it slow if you are on the road Friday," said MEMA Director Pete Rogers.

While this event is expected to be all snow with relatively light winds, citizens are urged to prepare by:

  • Charging electronics.
  • Following local weather officials.
  • Checking carbon monoxide alarms are working, especially if using alternative heat sources.


  • If you need heating resources or assistance, the Governors Energy Office has prepared a Winter Heating Guide to help Maine people stay warm this winter. For additional preparedness and safety information please log on to www.MainePrepares.com or visit MEMA on Facebook or Twitter.

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    State Emergency Response Commission January Meeting Minutes 2022

    3 months ago
    The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) held their regular meeting January 18th, 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) Prepares for Messy Winter Storm

    3 months 2 weeks ago
    AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) staff, partner agencies, and utility companies are coordinating preparedness efforts in advance of the incoming winter storm. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the entire state for heavy snow and mixed precipitation, except for Northwestern Aroostook County, which remains in a Winter Storm Advisory.

    The storm system will bring accumulating snow and mixed precipitation to the region beginning Thursday afternoon. Precipitation will start as rain for all but northern Maine, transitioning to a wintery mix and snow by afternoon, then to all snow Thursday night except for parts of Southwest Maine, where mixed precipitation could continue until Friday morning. Snow fall is predicted to be wet and heavy at times. Friday morning will see mostly snow, with a chance of heavy sleet and freezing rain across parts of Southwest and Downeast Maine.

    "We are prepared for this storm and will monitor it along with our partner agencies," said MEMA Director Pete Rogers. "The Friday morning commute looks messy, so we urge citizens to plan accordingly and stay off the roads if possible."

    Citizens using alternative heat and power sources are reminded to follow the manufacturer's guidelines. If using a generator, never run it in an enclosed area and be sure it is properly installed at least 15 feet away from the home in a well-ventilated area. Make sure carbon monoxide alarms are properly working, especially if using alternative heating sources. Be sure to charge cellphones and check the batteries in flashlights.

    If you need heating resources or assistance, the Governors Energy Office has prepared a Winter Heating Guide to help Maine people stay warm this winter. For additional preparedness and safety information please log on to www.MainePrepares.com or visit MEMA on Facebook or Twitter.

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    Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Encourages Coastal Residents To Prepare for Winter Blast

    3 months 3 weeks ago
    AUGUSTA, MAINE - Coastal Maine could see several inches of snowfall this weekend, particularly the Downeast region. The National Weather Service in Gray and Caribou report snow and blowing snow in Maine is possible Saturday through the evening, with the greatest likelihood along the coast. There is less certainty about inland snow amounts while Downeast and Midcoast Maine are anticipated to receive the brunt of the storm. Wind gusts are predicted at 20-25 mph across the state, with stronger gusts of 35-50 mph across the Downeast and Midcoast Counties. Beach erosion due to large waves and coastal storm surge is possible during Saturday's high tides. A small shift in the storm track could make significant changes in the amount of snowfall, so stay up to date on the latest forecasts. If you are planning to travel this weekend, now is the time to make alternate plans.

    "With a serious storm expected to bring several inches of snow and strong winds across certain parts of Maine, I encourage people to be cautious and careful and to avoid driving if at all possible. If you do have to be on the road, it's always important to be mindful of road crews and emergency responders who are working to keep us all safe," said Governor Janet Mills. "As always, be sure to check in on your neighbors and loved ones to make sure they are okay and extend a helping hand to those who may need it."

    "We have been tracking this storm for a few days," said MEMA Director Peter Rogers. "While there is still some uncertainty on snowfall amounts, we do know strong winds and blowing snow will impact travel due to low visibility. This will make for hazardous driving conditions and we encourage folks to stay off the road."

    **Preparing Before The Storm:**

    - The Governors Energy Office has prepared a ">https://www.maine.gov/energy/winter-heating-resources"> Winter Heating Guide to help Maine people stay warm this winter and know where to find assistance if needed. - Listen to local officials and heed ">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtF18YHjG-I"> weather alerts in your area. - Have ">https://www.ready.gov/kit"> emergency supplies ready at home that include a 3-day supply of food and water for each person, medications, and anything used daily. You also need an ">https://www.ready.gov/car"> emergency kit in your vehicle. - Stay off the road during and right after a winter storm, if possible. - Have a carbon monoxide alarm in place, especially if using alternative heating devices. - Use safe heating devices and keep them 3 feet or more away from anything flammable. - Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night. A snowstorm is not the time to set back the thermostat at night to save a few bucks on your heating bill. - For long term solutions add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces to maintain higher temperatures in those areas. To prevent drafts, seal cracks and openings around windows, doors, and at sill plates where the house rests on its foundation.

    **Taking Care During The Storm:**

    - Stay off roads, if possible. If you travel and become stranded in your car, stay put and call for help. Run the engine just long enough to warm up but be careful not to run out of gas. - Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, wear layers of warm clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. - Reduce the risk of a heart attack by avoiding overexertion when shoveling or walking in the snow.

    **Cleaning Up After The Storm:**

    - Shovel out two exits from your dwelling. Clear snow from furnace vent. - Wait until the storm has ended before climbing on your roof to remove snow. - Have a spotter! Do not climb on to or clear your roof alone in case something goes wrong. - Look for signs of collapse; sagging roof, severe leaks, cracks or splits, bends or ripples in supports, cracks in the masonry, doors that pop open, and creaking, cracking, or popping sounds. - Use a snow rake or a broom for pitched roofs. Avoid metal tools that can conduct electricity from power lines and might damage your roof. - Try to remove 2-3 inches of snow at a time to prevent damage to your roof or shingles. - Wear protective headgear or goggles when removing snow and be careful removing icicles. - Make sure gutters, drains, and downspouts are free of ice and snow. - Don't use open flame or electric heating devices to remove snow or ice. - Remember that ladders can be slippery. Ice can build up on the rungs and on your boots. - Dress appropriately, take your time, stay warm, and stay safe. - Consider hiring a professional since snow removal can be dangerous.

    For additional preparedness and safety information please log on to www.MainePrepares.com">https://www.maine.gov/mema/maine-prepares">www.MainePrepares.com or visit MEMA on Facebook or Twitter.

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