Maine’s primary natural hazard is flooding. Our most flood prone months are April, January and March. These are the months when snow pack is most subject to natural variables such as the “January Thaw” and seasonal rain falls that cause rapid snow melt and run off.
Winter and spring flooding can be further impacted by ice jams. The sudden release of an ice jam can have the same affect as a dam breach.
However, floods can happen at any time, in almost any location from too much rain in too short a time. In October of 1996, catastrophic flooding occurred in York and Cumberland Counties; over a foot of rain in a day was recorded in some locations.
Remember: "The three primary causes of flooding in Maine are rain, rain and more rain".
To protect your home or business from flood damage and loss:
- Be aware of hazards that can increase the potential for flooding – including flash flooding (heavy rain events, spring run off, ice jams, hurricanes, earthquakes, dam failure)
- Know the flood prone areas in your community (including dam locations)
- Have a personal evacuation/communications plan
- Know where and how to seek sheltering in the event of evacuation
- Check with your insurance agent about flood insurance coverage; most homeowners insurance does not cover floods. Your agent should be able to help you secure insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Learn how to “flood proof” your home.
- During the flood stay tuned to radio or TV to get the latest information.
- Pay attention to evacuation orders.
- DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH FLOODED ROADWAYS.