Emergency Management News - Maine

 

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Maine Emergency Management Agency Monitors Flood Conditions and Power Outages

2 days 9 hours ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine Emergency Management Agency has spent the early part of December 1 monitoring flood conditions stemming from a wind and rainstorm late Monday stretching into early Tuesday evening. A high wind warning is in effect until 4 PM across the state. At the peak of the power outages Central Maine Power saw more than 91,000 customers without electricity while Versant Power logged about 16,000 and Eastern Maine Power Cooperative dealt with several hundred outages.

Following major weather events, communities are encouraged to report public damages to their town office or County Emergency Management Agency. Disaster assistance programs generally do not cover damage to private infrastructure.

Maine Emergency Management Agency offers the following tips:

Immediately After a Storm:

- Begin to assess the damage to your home.

- If you can get out, stay away from flooded areas and downed power lines.

- Check on your neighbors, especially those who might need extra help.

If the Power Goes Out:

- Use gas powered generators and stoves safely to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and electrical hazards.

- Never use a generator inside your home, basement, garage, shed or similar enclosed area, even if the windows are open. Make sure your generator is at least 15 feet away from windows and doors.

- Do not use outdoor cooking devices indoors. Wait until the storm is over before heading outside to use grills or camp stoves.

- If you have been without power and refrigerated food has been above 40 degrees for more than 2-hours, you may need to throw some foods out.

If you experience a flood the following steps are recommended:

- Turn off utilities at the main power switch.

- Keep a supply of fresh water in case your supply becomes contaminated.

- Evacuate if you are threatened by rising water.

- Never drive or walk through a flooded area. "Turn Around, Don't Drown."

- Stay clear of downed power lines and electrical equipment in flooded basements.

- Document damage with photos.

"A few preventive steps could save home and business owners a great deal of money and hardship," said Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Rogers.

The State Emergency Operations Center remains operational seven days a week and is responding to resource needs of the county emergency management agencies related to COVID-19 as well as storm events. For additional information, please visit Maine.gov/MEMA, or visit MEMA on Facebook or Twitter.

Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Closely Watching Upcoming Windstorm

3 days 11 hours ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE -Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is gearing up for a powerful storm that is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain to the state, possibly causing power outages.

"We are monitoring this storm closely and working with our partners at the state, county and local levels to ensure readiness," said MEMA Director Peter Rogers.

The National Weather Service predicts damaging winds, especially along the coast. A high wind warning is in effect from 8 PM this evening until 4 PM Tuesday, December 1, 2020 with gusts up to 60mph. Minor splashover is possible in vulnerable low-lying spots along the coast around the time of high tide late this evening, especially along coastal Washington and Hancock counties.

Mainers are reminded to ensure that alternate heat and power sources are in proper working condition and properly installed. Mainers should also remove objects in their yard that could take flight during strong winds, such as holiday decorations, patio furniture or garden ornaments.

In anticipation of potential power outages, Mainers 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 that could allow CO to come indoors. 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 manufacturers 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.

The State Emergency Operations Center remains operational seven days a week and is responding to resource needs of the county emergency management agencies related to COVID-19 as well as storm events.

Drought Conditions Improve with Above Average Rainfall

1 week 6 days ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine's Drought Task Force met virtually Thursday to discuss the drought conditions across the state. Since the Task Force met two weeks ago, conditions have improved across much of the state, with northern Maine close to coming out of drought status and the remainder of the state moving to moderately dry conditions.

"October is historically our wettest month of the year and it really came through," said Donald Dumont of the National Weather Service.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported much of the stream flow for the state is at a normal level. Surface water levels have risen to mostly normal levels, with Downeast and southern Maine still slightly below normal. Ground water levels are also showing improvement, though some areas are still in need of a rain event.

"We are optimistic that drought conditions will continue to trend in the right direction," MEMA Director Peter Rogers said. "We're not out of the woods yet, but the situation is getting better."

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reported every county in Maine, except Knox, has received a drought declaration. The FSA is currently working with Knox County producers on collecting information to justify a declaration. The special FSA">https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster/drought/usda-drought-programs-and-assistance">FSA Farm Programs remain in effect to assist farmers, ranchers and small businesses, as well as the Small">https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela">Small Business Administration disaster loan assistance programs. Available programs and loans include: - Non-insurable">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/noninsured_crop_disaster_assistance_program-nap-fact_sheet.pdf">Non-insurable Crop Assistance Program (NAP) - provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters including qualifying drought.

- Livestock">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/livestock_forage_program_lfp-fact_sheet.pdf">Livestock Forage Program (LFP) - provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses for covered livestock due to drought.

- Tree">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/archived-fact-sheets/tap_fact_sheet_may_2018.pdf">Tree Assistance Program (TAP)/a> - provides financial assistance to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant and/or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and vines lost due to a qualifying natural disaster.

- Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/archived-fact-sheets/elap-livestock-fact-sheet_11-22-19.pdf">Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) - provides emergency relief for losses due to feed or water shortages, disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, which are not adequately addressed by other disaster programs.

- Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/emergency_loan_program-factsheet.pdf">Emergency Loan Program - available to producers with agriculture operations located in a county under a primary or contiguous Secretarial Disaster designation. These low interest loans help producers recover from production and physical losses.

- Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/emergency-conservation-program-ecp-fact_sheet.pdf">Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) - provides cost share, up to 75% of the producers actual costs, to provide emergency water during periods of severe drought (specifically for grazing and confined livestock and existing orchards and vineyards). Approved practices and measures may include: - installing pipelines or other facilities for livestock water or existing irrigation systems for orchards and vineyards - constructing and deepening wells for livestock water - developing springs or seeps for livestock water.

Producers experiencing drought related losses should contact their local FSA Office. A list of local offices can be accessed">https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=me&agency=fsa">accessed here. There continues to be no mandatory water conservation measures, however dry well reports remain an issue across the state. MEMA's Dry">https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/49fef6c94fd34a6a9804175ae4a3ad93?portalUrl=https://maine.maps.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey, launched August, has received feedback of dry wells in all sixteen counties. The reported dry wells span dug, drilled, and natural spring wells with impacts spanning residential, livestock, irrigation, and processing classifications. Anyone wishing to complete the survey without internet access can call 2-1-1. Completing the survey does not guarantee any type of assistance but helps the Task Force determine how widespread the problem may be and what resources may be needed.

Citizens who may be experiencing low water levels in wells are also encouraged to take the following steps:

- Avoid filling wells by a water hauler or fire department. This could contaminate the owner's well because water from an unknown source may contain toxins and water would likely leak out in a short amount of time.

- Check water systems for leaks and fix them. This can also save money for those on public water.

- Ensure you have a full load before running dishwashers and washing machines.

- Space out water usage to avoid a temporary shortage that could damage the pump.

- If using drinking water from an outside source, make sure containers and the water source are clean.

- Use a licensed well driller or pump installer to check water levels in wells for the most accurate assessment and advice and to avoid contamination.

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 review conditions in one week to determine the next meeting, if needed.

Drought Conditions Remain as Dry Weather Persists

1 week 6 days ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine's Drought Task Force met virtually Thursday to discuss the drought conditions across the state. Since the Task Force met three weeks ago, drought conditions remain across the state, with inland parts of York County and coastal Maine continuing to experience severe to extreme drought conditions.

The National Weather Service reported dry weather over the previous 30 days coupled with well below normal rainfall for November, resulting in no significant change in the drought status. While the forecast appears favorable for above normal precipitation in the coming week, the National Weather Service is concerned with groundwater levels going into meteorological winter and ground freezing approaching.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported much of the stream flow for Downeast, Southern and Coastal Maine as below normal. October rains provided some recharge to ground water levels, though they, too, remain below normal.

"We seem to have lost some of the gains we had in October," MEMA Deputy Director Joe Legee said. "It's concerning as colder temperatures approach, increasing the potential for ground freeze to shut off any recharge."

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reported every county in Maine, except Knox, has received a drought declaration. The FSA is currently working with Knox County producers on collecting information to justify a declaration. The special FSA">https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster/drought/usda-drought-programs-and-assistance">FSA Farm Programs remain in effect to assist farmers, ranchers and small businesses, as well as the Small">https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela">Small Business Administration disaster loan assistance programs. Available programs and loans include: - Non-insurable">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/noninsured_crop_disaster_assistance_program-nap-fact_sheet.pdf">Non-insurable Crop Assistance Program (NAP) - provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters including qualifying drought.

- Livestock">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/livestock_forage_program_lfp-fact_sheet.pdf">Livestock Forage Program (LFP) - provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses for covered livestock due to drought.

- Tree">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/archived-fact-sheets/tap_fact_sheet_may_2018.pdf">Tree Assistance Program (TAP)/a> - provides financial assistance to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant and/or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and vines lost due to a qualifying natural disaster.

- Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/archived-fact-sheets/elap-livestock-fact-sheet_11-22-19.pdf">Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) - provides emergency relief for losses due to feed or water shortages, disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, which are not adequately addressed by other disaster programs.

- Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/emergency_loan_program-factsheet.pdf">Emergency Loan Program - available to producers with agriculture operations located in a county under a primary or contiguous Secretarial Disaster designation. These low interest loans help producers recover from production and physical losses.

- Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/emergency-conservation-program-ecp-fact_sheet.pdf">Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) - provides cost share, up to 75% of the producers actual costs, to provide emergency water during periods of severe drought (specifically for grazing and confined livestock and existing orchards and vineyards). Approved practices and measures may include: - installing pipelines or other facilities for livestock water or existing irrigation systems for orchards and vineyards - constructing and deepening wells for livestock water - developing springs or seeps for livestock water.

Producers experiencing drought related losses should contact their local FSA Office. A list of local offices can be accessed">https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=me&agency=fsa">accessed here. There continues to be no mandatory water conservation measures, however dry well reports remain an issue across the state. MEMA's Dry">https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/49fef6c94fd34a6a9804175ae4a3ad93?portalUrl=https://maine.maps.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey, launched August, has received feedback of dry wells in all sixteen counties. The reported dry wells span dug, drilled, and natural spring wells with impacts spanning residential, livestock, irrigation, and processing classifications. Anyone wishing to complete the survey without internet access can call 2-1-1. Completing the survey does not guarantee any type of assistance but helps the Task Force determine how widespread the problem may be and what resources may be needed.

Citizens who may be experiencing low water levels in wells are also encouraged to take the following steps:

- Avoid filling wells by a water hauler or fire department. This could contaminate the owner's well because water from an unknown source may contain toxins and water would likely leak out in a short amount of time.

- Check water systems for leaks and fix them. This can also save money for those on public water.

- Ensure you have a full load before running dishwashers and washing machines.

- Space out water usage to avoid a temporary shortage that could damage the pump.

- If using drinking water from an outside source, make sure containers and the water source are clean.

- Use a licensed well driller or pump installer to check water levels in wells for the most accurate assessment and advice and to avoid contamination.

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 review conditions in one month to determine the next meeting, if needed.

State Emergency Response Commission Meeting Minutes for October 2020

1 month ago
The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) held their regular meeting October 13th, 2020. 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 for July 2020

1 month ago
The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) held their regular meeting July 14th, 2020. Due to COVID-19 we combined this April and July meeting and held it 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.

Drought Conditions Improve with Above Average Rainfall

1 month ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine's Drought Task Force met virtually Thursday to discuss the drought conditions across the state. Since the Task Force met two weeks ago, conditions have improved across much of the state, with northern Maine close to coming out of drought status and the remainder of the state moving to moderately dry conditions.

"October is historically our wettest month of the year and it really came through," said Donald Dumont of the National Weather Service.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported much of the stream flow for the state is at a normal level. Surface water levels have risen to mostly normal levels, with Downeast and southern Maine still slightly below normal. Ground water levels are also showing improvement, though some areas are still in need of a rain event.

"We are optimistic that drought conditions will continue to trend in the right direction," MEMA Director Peter Rogers said. "We're not out of the woods yet, but the situation is getting better."

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reported every county in Maine, except Knox, has received a drought declaration. The FSA is currently working with Knox County producers on collecting information to justify a declaration. The special FSA">https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster/drought/usda-drought-programs-and-assistance">FSA Farm Programs remain in effect to assist farmers, ranchers and small businesses, as well as the Small">https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela">Small Business Administration disaster loan assistance programs. Available programs and loans include: - Non-insurable">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/noninsured_crop_disaster_assistance_program-nap-fact_sheet.pdf">Non-insurable Crop Assistance Program (NAP) - provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters including qualifying drought.

- Livestock">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/livestock_forage_program_lfp-fact_sheet.pdf">Livestock Forage Program (LFP) - provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses for covered livestock due to drought.

- Tree">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/archived-fact-sheets/tap_fact_sheet_may_2018.pdf">Tree Assistance Program (TAP)/a> - provides financial assistance to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant and/or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and vines lost due to a qualifying natural disaster.

- Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/archived-fact-sheets/elap-livestock-fact-sheet_11-22-19.pdf">Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) - provides emergency relief for losses due to feed or water shortages, disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, which are not adequately addressed by other disaster programs.

- Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/emergency_loan_program-factsheet.pdf">Emergency Loan Program - available to producers with agriculture operations located in a county under a primary or contiguous Secretarial Disaster designation. These low interest loans help producers recover from production and physical losses.

- Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/emergency-conservation-program-ecp-fact_sheet.pdf">Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) - provides cost share, up to 75% of the producers actual costs, to provide emergency water during periods of severe drought (specifically for grazing and confined livestock and existing orchards and vineyards). Approved practices and measures may include: - installing pipelines or other facilities for livestock water or existing irrigation systems for orchards and vineyards - constructing and deepening wells for livestock water - developing springs or seeps for livestock water.

Producers experiencing drought related losses should contact their local FSA Office. A list of local offices can be accessed">https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=me&agency=fsa">accessed here. There continues to be no mandatory water conservation measures, however dry well reports remain an issue across the state. MEMA's Dry">https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/49fef6c94fd34a6a9804175ae4a3ad93?portalUrl=https://maine.maps.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey, launched August, has received feedback of dry wells in all sixteen counties. The reported dry wells span dug, drilled, and natural spring wells with impacts spanning residential, livestock, irrigation, and processing classifications. Anyone wishing to complete the survey without internet access can call 2-1-1. Completing the survey does not guarantee any type of assistance but helps the Task Force determine how widespread the problem may be and what resources may be needed.

Citizens who may be experiencing low water levels in wells are also encouraged to take the following steps:

- Avoid filling wells by a water hauler or fire department. This could contaminate the owner's well because water from an unknown source may contain toxins and water would likely leak out in a short amount of time.

- Check water systems for leaks and fix them. This can also save money for those on public water.

- Ensure you have a full load before running dishwashers and washing machines.

- Space out water usage to avoid a temporary shortage that could damage the pump.

- If using drinking water from an outside source, make sure containers and the water source are clean.

- Use a licensed well driller or pump installer to check water levels in wells for the most accurate assessment and advice and to avoid contamination.

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 review conditions in one week to determine the next meeting, if needed.

Drought Conditions Show Minor Improvement as Active Weather Pattern Continues

1 month 2 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine's Drought Task Force met virtually Thursday to discuss the ongoing drought conditions across the state. Since the Task Force met two weeks ago, much of the State continues with severe drought conditions, while portions of Penobscot, Piscataquis and northern Aroostook County are still experiencing extreme drought conditions. Above normal rainfall is expected over the next week for most of Maine.

The National Weather Service reported some improvements due to the rainfall received since the beginning of October.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported much of the state has seen improvement in surface water, noting that many of the natural running streams in the state are at normal or above levels - something that hasnt been seen since late May. Ground water levels are still receding, though there was a small amount of recharge from the recent rain, which is promising.

"We are cautiously optimistic that drought conditions will improve over the next few weeks," MEMA Deputy Director Joe Legee said. An active weather pattern and increasing groundwater levels are good signs as we head into late fall and approach the ground freeze.

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reported continued impact to most crops across the state, especially in Aroostook County. With the continued drought declaration, the special FSA">https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster/drought/usda-drought-programs-and-assistance">FSA Farm Programs remain in effect to assist farmers, ranchers and small businesses as the drought continues. The Small">https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela">Small Business Administration has also continued the availability for disaster loan assistance. Available programs and loans include: - Non-insurable">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/noninsured_crop_disaster_assistance_program-nap-fact_sheet.pdf">Non-insurable Crop Assistance Program (NAP) - provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters including qualifying drought.

- Livestock">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/livestock_forage_program_lfp-fact_sheet.pdf">Livestock Forage Program (LFP) - provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses for covered livestock due to drought.

- Tree">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/archived-fact-sheets/tap_fact_sheet_may_2018.pdf">Tree Assistance Program (TAP)/a> - provides financial assistance to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant and/or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and vines lost due to a qualifying natural disaster.

- Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/archived-fact-sheets/elap-livestock-fact-sheet_11-22-19.pdf">Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) - provides emergency relief for losses due to feed or water shortages, disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, which are not adequately addressed by other disaster programs.

- Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/emergency_loan_program-factsheet.pdf">Emergency Loan Program - available to producers with agriculture operations located in a county under a primary or contiguous Secretarial Disaster designation. These low interest loans help producers recover from production and physical losses.

- Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/emergency-conservation-program-ecp-fact_sheet.pdf">Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) - provides cost share, up to 75% of the producers actual costs, to provide emergency water during periods of severe drought (specifically for grazing and confined livestock and existing orchards and vineyards). Approved practices and measures may include: - installing pipelines or other facilities for livestock water or existing irrigation systems for orchards and vineyards - constructing and deepening wells for livestock water - developing springs or seeps for livestock water.

Producers experiencing drought related losses should contact their local FSA Office. A list of local offices can be accessed">https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=me&agency=fsa">accessed here. There continues to be no mandatory conservation measures, however dry wells continue to be reported across the state. MEMA launched the Dry">https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/49fef6c94fd34a6a9804175ae4a3ad93?portalUrl=https://maine.maps.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey in August and has now received feedback of dry wells in all sixteen counties. The reported dry wells span dug, drilled, and natural spring wells with impacts spanning residential, livestock, irrigation, and processing classifications. Anyone wishing to complete the survey without internet access can call 2-1-1. Completing the survey does not guarantee any type of assistance but helps the Task Force determine how widespread the problem may be and what resources may be needed.

Citizens who may be experiencing low water levels in wells are also encouraged to take the following steps:

- Avoid filling wells by a water hauler or fire department. This could contaminate the owner's well because water from an unknown source may contain toxins and water would likely leak out in a short amount of time.

- Check water systems for leaks and fix them. This can also save money for those on public water.

- Ensure you have a full load before running dishwashers and washing machines.

- Space out water usage to avoid a temporary shortage that could damage the pump.

- If using drinking water from an outside source, make sure containers and the water source are clean.

- Use a licensed well driller or pump installer to check water levels in wells for the most accurate assessment and advice and to avoid contamination.

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 two weeks, or sooner, if needed.

Secure Your Chemicals: Before, During and After a Pandemic

1 month 4 weeks ago
Operational security measures at facilities that manufacture, store, distribute, or use hazardous chemicals may be impacted during a pandemic, so it is important to ensure facilities are prepared for and remain diligent in order to secure those chemicals.

This guide-created in collaboration between the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation's Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate (WMDD), and Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) that oversee and provide expertise on chemical security for both domestic and international facilitiesprovides a set of special considerations so that chemical companies and facilities can maintain critical operations safely and securely before, during, and after a pandemic event.

Drought Conditions Continue Across Maine with Little Precipitation in Sight

2 months ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine's Drought Task Force met virtually Thursday to discuss the worsening drought conditions across the state. Since the Task Force met two weeks ago, much of the State remains in severe drought conditions, while several parts of Aroostook County remain in extreme drought conditions. Normal rainfall is expected over the next week in the mountains and northern Maine.

"September was not kind to Maine with a record dry month at some locations," said Don Dumont of the National Weather Service. If not for the rain the last two days, it would have been much worse. Fall is normally our wettest season. Rainfall this time of year has a much greater chance for increasing soil moisture due to decreased evaporation.

Echoing the hope for a wet fall season, the U.S. Geological Survey reported ground water levels are receding and remain below normal, and 12 long term streamflow measuring stations were at their lowest levels for any September 28 in the period of record.

Fall is going to be the proving ground - deciding whether this drought is going to improve or get much worse, MEMA Deputy Director Joe Legee said.

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reported continued impact to most crops across the state, especially in Aroostook County. With the continued drought declaration, the special FSA">https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster/drought/usda-drought-programs-and-assistance">FSA Farm Programs remain in effect to assist farmers, ranchers and small businesses as the drought continues. The Small">https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela">Small Business Administration has also continued the availability for disaster loan assistance. The FSA Farm Programs automatically trigger once a county has been at D2 drought status for eight consecutive weeks or immediately upon hitting D3 status for any length of time, as reported weekly by the U.S.">http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/">U.S. Drought Monitor. Aroostook, Penobscot, Cumberland and York Counties have all reached the D3 level and contiguous counties will include Washington, Hancock, Waldo, Somerset, Piscataquis, Oxford, Androscoggin, and Sagadahoc. These counties are all eligible for the following programs:

Livestock">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/livestock_forage_program_lfp-fact_sheet.pdf">Livestock Forage Program (LFP) - provides payments to livestock producer for grazing losses.

- Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/archived-fact-sheets/elap-livestock-fact-sheet_11-22-19.pdf">Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) - provides financial assistance to livestock producers for losses resulting from the additional cost of transporting water to livestock due to an eligible drought.

Additional programs available to drought affected producers in Aroostook, Penobscot, Cumberland and York Counties are as follows:

- Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/emergency-conservation-program-ecp-fact_sheet.pdf">Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) - provides cost share to provide emergency water during periods of severe drought (specifically for grazing and confined livestock and existing irrigation systems for orchards and vineyards).

- Non-insurable">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/noninsured_crop_disaster_assistance_program-nap-fact_sheet.pdf">Non-insurable Crop Assistance Program (NAP) - acts like crop insurance but is for non-insurable crops and covers drought related losses. In this case, the crop loss acts as the trigger for the program.

All counties are eligible for the following assistance opportunities:

- Maine">https://www.mainehousing.org/programs-services/HomeImprovement/homeimprovementdetail/home-repair">Maine State Housing Authority Home Repair Program - provides help to low-income homeowners who cannot afford necessary home repairs in the form of a grant and can assist with such things as well repairs or replacements. Applicants are encouraged to apply but will be waitlisted until funds are made available. Funds may be appropriated at any point in time.

- USDA">https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-repair-loans-grants">USDA Rural Development: Single Family Housing Loans and Grants - provides loans to very-low-income homeowners to repair, improve or modernize their homes or grants to elderly very-low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards. Applicants will be waitlisted until funds are congressionally appropriated for the next fiscal year. While there are no mandatory conservation measures currently, dry wells are being reported across the state. MEMA launched the Dry">https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/49fef6c94fd34a6a9804175ae4a3ad93?portalUrl=https://maine.maps.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey in August and has now received feedback of dry wells in all sixteen counties. The reported dry wells span dug, drilled, and natural spring wells with impacts spanning residential, livestock, irrigation, and processing classifications. Anyone wishing to complete the survey without internet access can call 2-1-1. Completing the survey does not guarantee any type of assistance but helps the Task Force determine how widespread the problem may be and what resources may be needed.

Citizens who may be experiencing low water levels in wells are also encouraged to take the following steps:

- Avoid filling wells by a water hauler or fire department. This could contaminate the owner's well because water from an unknown source may contain toxins and water would likely leak out in a short amount of time.

- Check water systems for leaks and fix them. This can also save money for those on public water.

- Ensure you have a full load before running dishwashers and washing machines.

- Space out water usage to avoid a temporary shortage that could damage the pump.

- If using drinking water from an outside source, make sure containers and the water source are clean.

- Use a licensed well driller or pump installer to check water levels in wells for the most accurate assessment and advice and to avoid contamination.

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 two weeks, or sooner, if needed.

Drought Conditions Worsen Across Maine As Little Precipitation Is Expected

2 months 1 week ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE -Maine's Drought Task Force met virtually today to discuss the worsening drought conditions across the state. Since the Task Force met two weeks ago, more than 56% of the State is now under severe drought conditions. Conditions in parts of Aroostook County have fallen into extreme drought conditions, prompting the Small Business Association to enact a drought declaration for Aroostook County. The Drought Declaration enables applicants across Aroostook and the contiguous counties of Penobscot, Washington, Piscataquis, and Somerset to submit to SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans program.

"Below normal rainfall is expected over the next seven days, which could worsen drought conditions in western and northern Maine," Tom Hawley of the National Weather Service said.

There are currently no mandatory conservation measures, though some are voluntarily conserving. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Drinking Water Program (DWP) and MEMA have received several reports of dry wells.

"With little to no relief in sight, we encourage anyone experiencing a dry well to report it via our Dry Well Survey," said MEMA Director Peter Rogers.

MEMA launched the Dry">https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/49fef6c94fd34a6a9804175ae4a3ad93?portalUrl=https://maine.maps.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey last month and has received some feedback of dry wells in Somerset, Waldo, Sagadahoc, Penobscot, Kennebec, Franklin, Knox and Washington Counties. The reported wells range between drilled and dug wells used for residential, irrigation, livestock, and/or "other" purposes. Anyone wishing to complete the survey without internet access can call 2-1-1. Completing the survey does not guarantee any type of assistance but helps the Task Force determine how widespread the problem may be and what resources may be needed.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that surface water levels are worsening statewide, nearing record low levels during what is already the lowest period of the year, while ground water levels are receding, and slowly worsening.

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reported a continued impact to most crops across the state, especially in Aroostook County, noting that special FSA">https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster/drought/usda-drought-programs-and-assistance">FSA Farm Programs have been triggered to assist farmers, ranchers and small businesses as the drought continues. The Small">https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela">Small Business Administration also reported a declaration of disaster, prompting the availability for disaster loan assistance. The FSA Farm Programs automatically trigger once a county has been at D2 drought status for eight consecutive weeks or immediately upon hitting D3 status for any length of time, as reported weekly by the U.S.">http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu">U.S. Drought Monitor. Programs available are:

- Livestock">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/livestock_forage_program_lfp-fact_sheet.pdf">Livestock Forage Program (LFP) - provides payments to livestock producer for grazing losses - Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/archived-fact-sheets/elap-livestock-fact-sheet_11-22-19.pdf">Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) - provides financial assistance to livestock producers for losses resulting from the additional cost of transporting water to livestock due to an eligible drought - Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/emergency-conservation-program-ecp-fact_sheet.pdf">Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) provides cost share to provide emergency water during periods of severe drought (specifically for grazing and confined livestock and existing irrigation systems for orchards and vineyards) - Non-insurable">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/noninsured_crop_disaster_assistance_program-nap-fact_sheet.pdf">Non-insurable Crop Assistance Program (NAP) - acts like crop insurance but is for non-insurable crops and covers drought related losses. In this case, the crop loss acts as the trigger for the program.

Citizens who may be experiencing low water levels in wells are also encouraged to take the following steps:

- Avoid filling wells by a water hauler or fire department. This could contaminate the owner's well because water from an unknown source may contain toxins and water would likely leak out in a short amount of time.

- Check water systems for leaks and fix them. This can also save money for those on public water.

- Ensure you have a full load before running dishwashers and washing machines.

- Space out water usage to avoid a temporary shortage that could damage the pump.

- If using drinking water from an outside source, make sure containers and the water source are clean.

- Use a licensed well driller or pump installer to check water levels in wells for the most accurate assessment and advice and to avoid contamination.

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 two weeks, or sooner, if needed.

Drought Conditions Worsen Across Maine As Little Precipitation Is Expected

2 months 2 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE -Maine's Drought Task Force met virtually today to discuss the worsening drought conditions across the state. Since the Task Force met two weeks ago, more than 56% of the State is now under severe drought conditions. Conditions in parts of Aroostook County have fallen into extreme drought conditions, prompting the Small Business Association to enact a drought declaration for Aroostook County. The Drought Declaration enables applicants across Aroostook and the contiguous counties of Penobscot, Washington, Piscataquis, and Somerset to submit to SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans program.

"Below normal rainfall is expected over the next seven days, which could worsen drought conditions in western and northern Maine," Tom Hawley of the National Weather Service said.

There are currently no mandatory conservation measures, though some are voluntarily conserving. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Drinking Water Program (DWP) and MEMA have received several reports of dry wells.

With little to no relief in sight, we encourage anyone experiencing a dry well to report it via our Dry Well Survey, said MEMA Director Peter Rogers.

MEMA launched the Dry">https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/49fef6c94fd34a6a9804175ae4a3ad93?portalUrl=https://maine.maps.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey last month and has received some feedback of dry wells in Somerset, Waldo, Sagadahoc, Penobscot, Kennebec, Franklin, Knox and Washington Counties. The reported wells range between drilled and dug wells used for residential, irrigation, livestock, and/or "other" purposes. Anyone wishing to complete the survey without internet access can call 2-1-1. Completing the survey does not guarantee any type of assistance but helps the Task Force determine how widespread the problem may be and what resources may be needed.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that surface water levels are worsening statewide, nearing record low levels during what is already the lowest period of the year, while ground water levels are receding, and slowly worsening.

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reported a continued impact to most crops across the state, especially in Aroostook County, noting that special FSA">https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster/drought/usda-drought-programs-and-assistance">FSA Farm Programs have been triggered to assist farmers, ranchers and small businesses as the drought continues. The Small">https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela">Small Business Administration also reported a declaration of disaster, prompting the availability for disaster loan assistance. The FSA Farm Programs automatically trigger once a county has been at D2 drought status for eight consecutive weeks or immediately upon hitting D3 status for any length of time, as reported weekly by the U.S.">http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu">U.S. Drought Monitor. Programs available are:

- Livestock">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/livestock_forage_program_lfp-fact_sheet.pdf">Livestock Forage Program (LFP) - provides payments to livestock producer for grazing losses - Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/archived-fact-sheets/elap-livestock-fact-sheet_11-22-19.pdf">Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) - provides financial assistance to livestock producers for losses resulting from the additional cost of transporting water to livestock due to an eligible drought - Emergency">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/emergency-conservation-program-ecp-fact_sheet.pdf">Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) provides cost share to provide emergency water during periods of severe drought (specifically for grazing and confined livestock and existing irrigation systems for orchards and vineyards) - Non-insurable">https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/noninsured_crop_disaster_assistance_program-nap-fact_sheet.pdf">Non-insurable Crop Assistance Program (NAP) - acts like crop insurance but is for non-insurable crops and covers drought related losses. In this case, the crop loss acts as the trigger for the program.

Citizens who may be experiencing low water levels in wells are also encouraged to take the following steps:

- Avoid filling wells by a water hauler or fire department. This could contaminate the owner's well because water from an unknown source may contain toxins and water would likely leak out in a short amount of time.

- Check water systems for leaks and fix them. This can also save money for those on public water.

- Ensure you have a full load before running dishwashers and washing machines.

- Space out water usage to avoid a temporary shortage that could damage the pump.

- If using drinking water from an outside source, make sure containers and the water source are clean.

- Use a licensed well driller or pump installer to check water levels in wells for the most accurate assessment and advice and to avoid contamination.

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 two weeks, or sooner, if needed.

Drought Conditions Worsen Across Maine As Little Precipitation Is Expected

2 months 2 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE -Maine's Drought Task Force met virtually today to discuss the worsening drought conditions across the state. Since the Task Force met two weeks ago, more than 56% of the State is now under severe drought conditions. Conditions in parts of Aroostook County have fallen into extreme drought conditions, prompting the Small Business Association to enact a drought declaration.

"Below normal rainfall is expected over the next seven days, which could worsen drought conditions in western and northern Maine," Tom Hawley of the National Weather Service said.

There are currently no mandatory conservation measures, though some are voluntarily conserving. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Drinking Water Program (DWP) has received several reports of dry wells.

With little to no relief in sight, we encourage anyone experiencing a dry well to report it via our Dry Well Survey, said MEMA Director Peter Rogers.

MEMA launched the Dry">https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/49fef6c94fd34a6a9804175ae4a3ad93?portalUrl=https://maine.maps.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey two weeks ago and has received some feedback of dry wells in Somerset, Waldo and Washington Counties. The reported wells are residential, dug wells. Anyone wishing to complete the survey without internet access can call 2-1-1. Completing the survey does not guarantee any type of assistance but helps the Task Force determine how widespread the problem may be and what resources may be needed.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that surface water levels are worsening statewide, nearing record low levels during what is already the lowest period of the year, while ground water levels are receding, and slowly worsening.

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reported a continued impact to most crops across the state, especially in Aroostook County, noting that special FSA">https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster/drought/usda-drought-programs-and-assistance">FSA Farm Programs have been triggered to assist farmers, ranchers and small businesses as the drought continues. The Small">https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela">Small Business Administration also reported a declaration of disaster, prompting the availability for disaster loan assistance.

Citizens who may be experiencing low water levels in wells are also encouraged to take the following steps:

- Avoid filling wells by a water hauler or fire department. This could contaminate the owner's well because water from an unknown source may contain toxins and water would likely leak out in a short amount of time.

- Check water systems for leaks and fix them. This can also save money for those on public water.

- Ensure you have a full load before running dishwashers and washing machines.

- Space out water usage to avoid a temporary shortage that could damage the pump.

- If using drinking water from an outside source, make sure containers and the water source are clean.

- Use a licensed well driller or pump installer to check water levels in wells for the most accurate assessment and advice and to avoid contamination.

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 two weeks, or sooner, if needed.

State Emergency Response Commission Meeting Minutes for January 2020

2 months 3 weeks ago
The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) held their regular meeting January 14th, 2020.

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.

Drought Task Force Meets: Conditions Remain Dry Across Maine with Little Precipitation Expected

3 months ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine's Drought Task Force met virtually today to discuss the worsening drought conditions across the state. Since the Task Force met two weeks ago, much of the state is experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions, though Northern Aroostook County has seen a slight improvement with some localized rain.

"Conditions may worsen over the next seven days statewide due to below normal rainfall and a continued trend of above normal temperatures," Tom Hawley of the National Weather Service said.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Drinking Water Program (DWP) and Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN), reported receiving reports from public water systems experiencing drought-related water quantity and quality issues statewide. Several public water systems are taking steps to modify operations to accommodate low water, and some have requested that their customers participate in voluntary water conservation measures.

We continue to encourage anyone experiencing a dry well to report it via our Dry Well Survey, said MEMA Deputy Director Joe Legee.

MEMA launched the Dry">https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/49fef6c94fd34a6a9804175ae4a3ad93?portalUrl=https://maine.maps.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey two weeks ago and has received some feedback of dry wells in Somerset, Waldo and Washington Counties. The reported wells are residential, dug wells. Anyone wishing to complete the survey without internet access can call 2-1-1. Completing the survey does not guarantee any type of assistance but helps the Task Force determine how widespread the problem may be and what resources may be needed.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the recent rain provided a slight improvement to surface water levels in Aroostook County and parts of Downeast Maine. Ground water levels remain unchanged, especially in Aroostook County, prompting the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to issue an irrigation">https://www.maine.gov/dep/news/news.html?id=3157594">irrigation warning.

The USDA Farm Service Agency reported a continued impact to most crops across the state, including potatoes, blueberries and cover crops and noted irrigation issues, especially in Aroostook County. The USDA">https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster/drought/usda-drought-programs-and-assistance">USDA is taking steps to assist farmers, ranchers and small businesses as the drought continues.

Citizens who may be experiencing low water levels in wells are also encouraged to take the following steps:

- Avoid filling wells by a water hauler or fire department. This could contaminate the owner's well because water from an unknown source may contain toxins and water would likely leak out in a short amount of time.

- Check water systems for leaks and fix them. This can also save money for those on public water.

- Ensure you have a full load before running dishwashers and washing machines.

- Space out water usage to avoid a temporary shortage that could damage the pump.

- If using drinking water from an outside source, make sure containers and the water source are clean.

- Use a licensed well driller or pump installer to check water levels in wells for the most accurate assessment and advice and to avoid contamination.

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 two weeks, or sooner, if needed.

Drought Task Force Meets: Conditions Worsen Across Maine With Little Relief in Sight

3 months 2 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE -Maine's Drought Task Force convened today by virtual meeting, to discuss the worsening drought conditions across the state. Since the Task Force met two weeks ago, the area considered to be in severe drought has grown to 42 percent of the state and now includes portions of Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset and Washington Counties in addition to Aroostook County, which has been in severe drought for more than 7 weeks.

"We will continue to monitor conditions and convene in two weeks, or sooner, if need be," said MEMA Director Peter Rogers. Meanwhile, we encourage anyone with a dry well to report it via our Dry Well Survey.

MEMA launched the Dry">https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/49fef6c94fd34a6a9804175ae4a3ad93?portalUrl=https://maine.maps.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey two weeks ago and has received some feedback of dry wells in Somerset, Waldo and Washington Counties. The reported wells are residential, dug wells. Anyone wishing to complete the survey without internet access can call 2-1-1. Completing the survey does not guarantee any type of assistance but helps the Task Force determine how widespread the problem may be and what resources may be needed.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that ground water levels are dropping steadily and surface water levels have worsened slightly over the last two weeks.

The National Weather Service reports that conditions could worsen over the next seven days, but the 6-10-day forecast shows above-normal precipitation and temperatures in the normal to below normal range.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Drinking Water Program (DWP) is receiving reports from public water systems experiencing drought-related water quantity issues statewide. Public water systems continue to take steps to modify operations to accommodate low water. Some systems have requested that their customers participate in voluntary water conservation measures.

The USDA Farm Service Agency reported an impact to most crops across the state, including potatoes, hay, oats, barley, blueberries and cover crops. In addition, some farmers report having to sell off cattle early due to the lack of hay. Some farms report that they are struggling to keep up with irrigation needs. The USDA">https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster/drought/usda-drought-programs-and-assistance">USDA is taking steps to assist farmers, ranchers and small businesses as the drought continues.

Citizens who may be experiencing low water levels in wells are also encouraged to take the following steps:

- Avoid filling wells by a water hauler or fire department. This could contaminate the owner's well because water from an unknown source may contain toxins and water would likely leak out in a short amount of time.

- Check water systems for leaks and fix them. This can also save money for those on public water.

- Ensure you have a full load before running dishwashers and washing machines.

- Space out water usage to avoid a temporary shortage that could damage the pump.

- If using drinking water from an outside source, make sure containers and the water source are clean.

- Use a licensed well driller or pump installer to check water levels in wells for the most accurate assessment and advice and to avoid contamination.

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 two weeks, or sooner, if needed.

State Drought Conditions Continue for Sixth Week Across Maine

3 months 2 weeks ago
State Drought Conditions Continue for Sixth Week Across Maine AUGUSTA, MAINE -Maine's Drought Task Force convened today by virtual meeting, as drought conditions continue across the state for a sixth week. The Task Force met two weeks ago and since then there has been little change to the ongoing drought across Maine.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that ground water and streamflow levels have improved slightly due to recent rain, but there has been no significant long-term recovery and continued dry conditions will likely cause ground and surface water levels to decrease over the next few weeks.

The National Weather Service reports that lower than normal precipitation and higher than normal temperatures are expected over the next two weeks and drought conditions could worsen during that time.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Drinking Water Program (DWP) continues to monitor hydrologic conditions statewide. Some public drinking water systems report that they are currently taking steps to modify operations to accommodate low water. The Maine Public Utilities Commission reported that some water utilities are implementing voluntary conservation measures.

The USDA Farm Service Agency reported a decrease in hay crops this year and widespread use of irrigation in many counties, especially Aroostook County where severe drought conditions exist.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is launching a Dry">https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/49fef6c94fd34a6a9804175ae4a3ad93?portalUrl=https://maine.maps.arcgis.com">Dry Well Survey today to help determine the number of dry wells across the state. Anyone experiencing a dry well can complete the survey online. Those without computer access may call 2-1-1 to report dry wells. Reporting this information is not a guarantee of assistance but helps gauge how widespread the problem is and what resources might be needed.

Citizens who may be experiencing low water levels in wells are also encouraged to take the following steps:

- Avoid filling wells by a water hauler or fire department. This could contaminate the owner's well because water from an unknown source may contain toxins and water would likely leak out in a short amount of time.

- Check water systems for leaks and fix them. This can also save money for those on public water.

- Ensure you have a full load before running dishwashers and washing machines.

- Space out water usage to avoid a temporary shortage that could damage the pump.

- If using drinking water from an outside source, make sure containers and the water source are clean.

- Use a licensed well driller or pump installer to check water levels in wells for the most accurate assessment and advice and to avoid contamination.

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 two weeks.
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