Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, ME

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NOUS41 KGYX 131358

1000 AM EST MON MAR 13 2017

The National Weather Service has declared the week of March 13th
through 17th Flood Awareness Week in Maine and New Hampshire, as
well as in the remainder of New England. This is the first in a
series of five Public Information Statements issued by the
National Weather Service Office in Gray for Flood Awareness


In the United States, flooding is the top storm-related killer,
on average, claiming the lives of about 90 people annually.  In
2016, there were at least 123 flood or flash flood fatalities
across the United States.  Many of the victims were either
trapped in their cars or drowned as tried to escape the flood
waters. Of those 123 deaths, 75 of the victims had driven or
were passengers in cars that were driven into the flood areas,
while an additional 7 victims either fell or attempted to walk
through the flood waters.  During 2016, 64% of the victims were
male.  No fatalities were reported in Maine or New Hampshire.

In Maine and New Hampshire, flooding can occur at any time of
the year, however, the greatest threat typically occurs in the
spring when heavy rains and snowmelt can combine to produce
excessive runoff.  A secondary flooding maximum occurs in the
fall when moisture-laden tropical systems can affect the area.
The current snowpack is near to above normal for this time of
year and any heavy rains this spring could combine with melting
snow to cause rivers to rise to flood levels.

As warmer weather arrives and rain and melting snow saturate the
ground, be alert to the possibility of flooding should heavy
rains occur.  If you live in a flood-prone area, be sure to
monitor the latest forecasts for the latest conditions. Always
report any flooding to the appropriate local officials and
always obey all barricades and local detours.   And never, under
any circumstance, drive into a flooded roadway!

Here are some important recommendations from the National
Weather Service.

* Respect the power of moving water.
* Never try to drive, swim, walk, or run through a flooded area.
* Keep a safe distance from the banks of swiftly moving streams,
  creeks, and ditches.
* Monitor children closely when streams are high.
* If you encounter high water or flooding, TURN AROUND,



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