Emergency Management News - Maine

 

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Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Prepares for Nor'easter in Addition to Responding to Covid-19 Resource Needs

3 weeks 6 days ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is in communication with Maine electric utilities, the Maine Department of Transportation, and the Maine Turnpike Authority ahead of the incoming Nor'easter that could knock out power to utility customers and create hazardous driving conditions. Travel is not advised during this significant winter storm that's forecast to begin this evening as falling and blowing snow will cause poor visibility and minor ice accumulation on Tuesday will make for slick roadways.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning along Mid-Coast Maine while the western mountains will see a significant amount of snow. The storm will continue Tuesday with a sleet mix following the main band of snow. Wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph are expected along the coast with the potential for isolated power outages.

The State Emergency Operations Center at MEMA is operational and responding to resource needs of the county emergency management agencies related to Covid-19 as well as monitoring the approaching snowstorm.

"We know this is a difficult time for Mainers and we ask residents to be prepared and proactive as we face what could be a challenging weather event," said MEMA Director Peter Rogers.

Mainers are reminded to ensure that alternate heat and power sources are in proper working condition and properly installed. Following the storm, extra caution is urged when shoveling snow as it may cause injuries if not handled properly. This includes: - Pushing snow instead of lifting it

- Bending your knees and lifting with your legs

- Taking frequent breaks

- Taking care to avoid power lines when removing snow from rooftops

For additional information, please visit Maine.gov/MEMA, or visit MEMA on Facebook or Twitter.

Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Plans for Winter Storm

2 months 1 week ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is monitoring the approaching winter storm and planning for unfavorable conditions. MEMA representatives were joined by the National Weather Service, the Department of Transportation, County EMA Directors, and utility companies for a storm-planning call this afternoon discussing this season's next significant storm.

Maine residents should prepare for potential power outages Christmas Day resulting from heavy rain and high winds with predicted gusts up to 50-60 mph beginning Christmas Eve and lasting through Friday. "The timing of the storm isn't good, but folks still need to prepare for possibly losing power as well as poor driving conditions," said MEMA Director Peter Rogers.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for portions of Maine from Friday morning through Saturday afternoon. Heavy rainfall combined with some snow melt will raise the potential of flooding. In addition, remnant snow banks are likely to block drains which may lead to urban flooding. Citizens are urged to monitor forecasts and be alert for possible Flood Warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

Before the storm arrives, Mainers should take the following steps to prepare:

- Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together during a storm, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.

- Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio which broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards.

- Subscribe to Emergency and Safety messages at MainePrepares.com.

- Download FEMAs Be Smart: Know Your Alerts and Warnings for a summary of notifications at www.ready.gov/prepare. Free smartphone apps, such as those available from FEMA and the American Red Cross, provide information about finding shelters, providing first aid, and seeking assistance for recovery.

- Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather and move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with enough drinking water.

The most severe conditions are expected late Thursday into Friday. Those who can avoid travel should do so. If you do have to drive, you should update the emergency kit in your vehicle with the items below and be sure to let someone know when and where you will be traveling and when you expect to arrive at your destination:

- Flashlight and extra batteries

- Battery powered radio

- Water

- Snack food

- Matches

- Extra hats, socks and mittens

- First aid kit with pocket knife

- Necessary medications

- Blanket

- Booster cables

- Emergency flares

- Fluorescent distress flag

For additional preparedness and safety information, please visit MainePrepares.com. Shelter information will be available at 211maine.org or by dialing 2-1-1.

Drought Conditions See Significant Improvements Statewide

2 months 2 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine's Drought Task Force met virtually Thursday to discuss the drought conditions across the state. Since the Task Force met a month ago, drought conditions have significantly improved across the state. According to the latest Drought Monitor, five percent of the state remains in drought status.

The National Weather Service reported large precipitation gains over the last month, noting most areas received normal or above normal precipitation amounts. While snowpack is currently below normal for mid-December in the headwaters region, they noted there is still a lot of winter to go.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that river flows have recovered due to rain events in October and November, and that on average, Maine stream flows are above normal. Ground water levels have also recovered, with recharge showing in all 18 monitored real time wells. Some of the slower responding wells are still rising from recent rains.

"Its been a long year but its great to see things have really turned around," MEMA Deputy Director Joe Legee said. "We're proud of all of the great work the Task Force has done."

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reported that Knox County received a 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 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) - 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. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has partnered with the University of Maine School of Food and Agriculture, in collaboration with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, to administer the Maine Drought and Agriculture Survey to research how the drought affected farming operations over the past five years. Those wishing to participate in the survey can access it here.">https://umaine.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2l6xn5MnFy7WJtr">here.

The Dry Well Survey, launched by MEMA in August, received feedback of dry wells in all sixteen counties and has been formally closed. With over 280 responses, the information helped the Task Force determine how widespread the problem was and what resources were 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 has officially been closed due to the improved conditions. The Task Force will reconvene in the spring of 2021 should the conditions warrant.

Annual Tier 2 Workshops

2 months 2 weeks ago
Maine Emergency Management is providing 4 Tier 2 reporting workshops virtually throughout January 2021. This 3-hour workshop is for facilities that are required to report extremely hazardous substances and/or hazardous materials above reporting quantities.

Please see attached worksheet for dates.

2020 Tier 2 Software Released

2 months 2 weeks ago
The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) announces that the 2020 Tier 2 Submit software has now been released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This software allows facilities with reportable quantities of hazardous materials to document and submit their reports electronically, through e-mail or on a CD, as required by the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA).

This law is a requirement for facilities with 10,000 pounds of a hazardous material or 500 pounds or less of an Extremely Hazardous Substance based on the chemical's Threshold Planning Quantity. This information is used by local first responders to assist them in identifying where there are chemical risks in their community and LEPC's in developing regional response plans. To access this free software please go to the following link:

http://www2.epa.gov/epcra-tier-i-and-tier-ii-reporting/tier2-submit-software

For more information on reporting or assistance in completing your reporting please contact you County EMA office or call the Maine Emergency Management Agency at 1-800-452-8735 or e-mail .

Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)'s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Monitors Incoming Storm

2 months 2 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine Emergency Management Agency staff and partner agencies are fully engaged and monitoring as heavy snow moves into the state overnight along with cold temperatures. Citizens will wake up Thursday to various amounts of snow across the state and hazardous weather conditions. A winter storm warning remains in effect from 10 PM this evening to 4 PM Thursday. Concerns include travel, possible power outages and below freezing temperatures. The State EOC will be active while continuing to assist with COVID-19 fulfilment efforts. Most county Emergency Management Agencies are activated now.

"Travel conditions could be very difficult with the snow and blowing snow, impacting the commute tomorrow morning and evening," said MEMA Director Peter Rogers. "We've been planning with the key partners to ensure the safety of Maine residents and address issues that could arise due to the storm."

Those in danger of running out of heating fuel should contact their fuel company as soon as possible and be sure to clear a path to the fuel pipes and tank to expedite the delivery process. Lowering the temperature in your home can help conserve fuel, but the temperature should not be set below 55 degrees to avoid pipes from freezing.

To prevent frozen pipes:

- Locate and insulate pipes most susceptible to freezing, typically those near outer walls, in crawl spaces or in the attic. Use insulation made especially for this purpose.

- Wrap pipes with heat tape (UL-approved).

- Seal any leaks that allow cold air inside where pipes are located.

- Disconnect garden hoses and shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.

- Let hot and cold water trickle at night from a faucet on an outside wall.

- Open cabinet doors to allow more heat to get to uninsulated pipes under a sink or appliance near an outer wall.

- If you plan to be away, have someone check your house daily to make sure the heat is still on to prevent freezing, or perhaps drain and shut off the water system (except indoor sprinkler systems).

If pipes freeze:

- Make sure you and your family know how to shut off the water in case pipes burst. Stopping the flow of water can minimize the damage to your home. Call a plumber and contact your insurance agent. Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch.

- Always be careful of the potential for electric shock in and around standing water.

Those using alternate heat sources should be sure to follow the manufacturers guidelines. Generators should not be used inside or in an enclosed space such as a porch or garage. They must be properly installed and situated at least 15 feet away from a home or business. Those using generators or alternate heat sources should also have working Carbon Monoxide detectors.

Those who must seek shelter elsewhere should have a plan in place to identify where they will go and how they will get there if they dont have transportation. Those with accessibility challenges should contact family, neighbors or emergency services to ensure their needs will be met.

State officials recommend staying off the roads during this storm. If you must travel, please consider the following:

- Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area such as a garage to avoid Carbon Monoxide poisoning - Make sure tires are properly inflated and in good condition - Check windshield wiper fluid

- Ensure the vehicle is clear of all ice and snow

- Never mix radial tires with other types of tires

- Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid the gas line freezing up or running out of gas and becoming stranded

- Bring a fully-charged cell phone with roadside assistance numbers in your contacts

- If you become stranded in your vehicle, stay with the vehicle and tie a brightly-colored cloth to the antenna or use another type of distress signal

- Run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill in order to conserve gas Be sure to let someone know when and where you will be traveling and when you expect to arrive at your destination.

For additional preparedness, shelter and safety information, please visit MainePrepares.com, or visit MEMA on Facebook or Twitter. Shelter information is also available by calling 2-1-1 or contacting your local town office, fire or police department.

State Emergency Response Commission Meeting Minutes for October 2020

2 months 2 weeks 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.

Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Coordinates Preparedness Efforts in Advance of Winter Storm

2 months 3 weeks ago
AUGUSTA, MAINE -MEMA staff, partner agencies, and utility companies are coordinating preparedness efforts in advance of the first major snowfall of the season. Wet snow is expected along the coastline with up to 2.5 inches of rain in Washington and Hancock Counties. There is a potential of 10 to 15 inches of snow from Eagle Lake to Oxbow and Baxter State Park through central Piscataquis County. The storm will roll into southern Maine on Saturday morning for a duration of 18 to 24 hours as it makes its way north in the afternoon with wind gusts up to 30 mph.

MEMA hosted a conference call Friday afternoon to discuss concerns about travel, and possible power outages. MEMA has a staffing plan in place and is prepared to add additional staff if needed as the event progresses. The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is currently activated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We urge citizens to travel only if necessary during the worst of the storm," said MEMA Director Pete Rogers. "With temperatures hovering around freezing, road conditions are expected to be extremely slick."

Citizens are encouraged to stay tuned to alerts and warnings through media or by downloading the free FEMA app on their smart phone, which provides targeted preparedness information, alerts, and warnings for specific areas. Those using alternate heat and power sources are reminded to follow the manufacturer's guidelines. Never run a generator in an enclosed area and be sure it is properly installed and at least 15 feet away from the home in a well-ventilated area.

Citizens should also plan for the possibility that they may have to shelter in place at home and should have the following essential items:

- Three-day supply of nonperishable food that does not require cooking

- Three-day supply of water (one gallon of water per person, per day)

- Portable, battery powered radio with extra batteries

- Flashlight with extra batteries

- First aid kit

- Cash (enough for at least three-days' worth of expenses)

- Telephone that works without electricity

- A safe way to heat food and water such as a camp stove, etc.

- Sleeping bags, extra blankets, and warm clothing

- Three-day supply of medication (never let your supply run below three days' worth)

- Items for infants: formula, diapers, etc.

- Food and water for pets

If you must travel during the storm, please consider the following:

- Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area such as a garage to avoid Carbon Monoxide poisoning

- Make sure tires are properly inflated and in good condition

- Check windshield wiper fluid

- Ensure the vehicle is clear of all ice and snow

- Never mix radial tires with other types of tires

- Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid the gas line freezing up or running out of gas and becoming stranded

- Bring a fully charged cell phone; program roadside assistance numbers in your contacts

- If you become stranded in your vehicle, stay with the vehicle and tie a brightly-colored cloth to the antenna or use other distress signals

- Run the engine and heater just long enough to remove chill to conserve gas Remember to update theemergency kitsin your vehicles in case you become stranded and be sure to let someone know where you will be traveling and when you expect to arrive at your destination.

For additional preparedness and safety information, please visit MainePrepares.com, or visit MEMA on Facebook or Twitter. Information on shelters and warming centers is also available by calling 2-1-1 or contacting your local town office, fire or police department.

Maine Emergency Management Agency Monitors Flood Conditions and Power Outages

2 months 4 weeks 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 months 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

3 months 1 week 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

3 months 1 week 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.
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News releases and informational articles relating to emergency management in Maine.
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