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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > Freezing Rain Expected, Floods Possible this Weekend

Freezing Rain Expected, Floods Possible this Weekend


January 10, 2014

4:30 PM


A combination of weather hazards is in store for Mainers this weekend.

According to the National Weather Service, freezing rain will again affect much of the State tonight into Saturday morning, creating slick road conditions.

However, unseasonably warm temperatures, heavy rain and ice-covered rivers and streams will combine to raise the risk of flooding. And, high winds are expected in downeast areas which could again result in power outages.

Freezing Rain

Freezing Rain Advisories are in place for all but downeast areas, for anywhere from a tract to a quarter-inch of ice, Friday night into Saturday. Even this much accumulation is enough to make driving treacherous, and to add to existing ice cover on driveways and walkways.

High Winds

In Hancock, Washington and southern Penobscot Counties, High Wind Watches have been posted for Saturday into Saturday night. Winds of up to 35 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph are possible, potentially causing power outages. The strongest gusts are more likely along the immediate coast and higher terrain.

Ice Jams and Flooding

Flood Watches are in place across the State from Saturday evening into Monday morning. 1 to 2 inches of rain is expected from Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning. Temperatures rising into the 30s and 40s, will produce melting snow along with the rain. This will raise water levels in rivers and streams, possibly causing ice to move and jam.

Ice jams cannot be predicted and can cause rapid, unexpected rises in rivers and streams. Water can rise rapidly behind the jam, causing upstream flooding. Then, when a jam releases, water will rise suddenly downstream, causing downstream flooding.

All those with interests along rivers and streams should pay close attention to possible ice movement and water levels. Any apparent ice jams and water level changes should be reported immediately to local officials and the National Weather Service.

Floods are not expected at this time of year, and it's important to remember basic flood safety:

Respect the power of water

A mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles. This includes pickups and SUVs. Moving water combined with ice is even more dangerous.

If you come to an area that is covered with water, you will not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground under the water. This is especially true at night, when your vision is more limited.

Whether driving or walking, any time you come to a flooded road, TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN!

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Last update: 07/20/10