Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Caribou, ME

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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Caribou ME
1220 AM EDT Wed Mar 14 2018

...Flood Safety Preparedness Week Continues...

The National Weather Service Offices in Maine have declared March 12
through March 16 as flood safety preparedness week. The National
Weather Service in Caribou will feature information about a
different flood topic each day during the week.

Today`s topic: Flood Hazards

A flood is defined as any high flow, overflow, or inundation of
water that causes or threatens damage. Flooding can occur with
prolonged rainfall over several days, intense rainfall over a short
period of time, of when water from an existing source moves too
quickly (I.E. snowmelt, dam break, etc). Brief descriptions of these
flood hazards can be found on the NWS flood safety website at

Snowmelt: the number 1 flood threat in maine is spring flooding due
to snowmelt when warming temperatures quickly melt the snow. The
water runs off the still partially frozen or already saturated
ground and into nearby streams and rivers, causing them to rapidly
rise and sometimes overflow their banks.  This threat is exacerbated
when heavy spring rainfall occurs at the same time or just after the
spring thaw. The majority of historic flood events in the state of
Maine occur due to the combination of snowmelt and heavy rain.

Ice and Debris Jams: The second largest flood threat across interior
Maine is caused by ice jams during mid-winter thaws and the spring
ice-out. A backup of water into surrounding areas can occur when a
river or stream is blocked by a buildup of ice or other debris.

Flash Flooding: A rapid and extreme flow of high water into a
normally dry area, or a rapid water level rise in a stream or creek
above a predetermined level, beginning within six hours of the
causative event (I.E. intense rainfall, dam failure, ice jam).

River flooding: Occurs when rivers rise and overflow their banks,
inundating areas that are normally dry.

Tropical Systems and Coastal Flooding: At any time of the year, a
storm from over the ocean can bring heavy precipitation to the U.S.
Coasts. Whether such a storm is tropical or not, prolonged periods
of heavy precipitation can cause flooding in coastal areas, as well
as further inland as the storm moves onshore. In addition to the
freshwater flood threat, tropical systems and Nor`easters can bring
the threat of storm surge related coastal flooding.

Dam break and Levee Failure: A break or failure can occur with
little to no warning. Most often they are caused by water
overtopping the structure, excessive seepage through the surrounding
ground, or a structural failure.

Understanding the different flood hazards and knowing the actions to
take before, during, and after a flood can help you protect your
life, the lives of your loved ones, and your property. Prepare now
by visiting

Safety Tip of the Day - Never get close to a flooded river or
stream. Water levels can rise very quickly with little to no
warning. This is especially true in the case of ice jam flooding,
when river levels can rise 10 feet or more in only a few minutes.
This can occur not only when the ice jam first forms, but also when
the jam finally releases. In 1994, two Canadian Customs Agents were
killed when a large ice jam on the Aroostook River in Fort Fairfield
released with no warning. The flood wave swept downstream, catching
the agents in their vehicle and drowning them. This can happen to
you too if you are too close to the water`s edge. Although it can be
tempting to go see a river that is flooding or jammed, you are
putting your left and the lives of the persons who will have to
rescue you at risk. Stay away and stay alive!

Join us tomorrow for information on flood-related services provided
by the National Weather Service.


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