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Dry conditions persist in Aroostook, other parts of state

CARIBOU, Maine — This past summer’s dry conditions continue to have an impact on some parts of the state, including Aroostook, according to the National Weather Service in Caribou.

Greg Cornwell, meteorologist at the NWS, said that although many parts of the state received beneficial rainfall in recent days, there are still some dry areas.

Rainfall amounts varied across the state and “there are still some parts of the state that are dry or abnormally dry,” he said Wednesday.

Rain fell only sporadically this summer, impacting wells and crops as dry or abnormally dry conditions persisted in spots throughout Maine.

A total of 8.90 inches of rain was recorded at Caribou from June 1 through the end of August, which is eight tenths of an inch below average. That made this summer the driest since 2009.

At Bangor, a total of only 7.14 inches of rain fell during the same time period, which is 1.81 inches below average.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, most of Aroostook County is still classified as abnormally dry, except for a small pocket of land in the north Maine woods. Such drought conditions extended down along the coast of Maine, encompassed all of Hancock and Washington counties, and included small parts of Penobscot, Hancock, Somerset, Oxford and Franklin counties.

It has been dry enough that on Wednesday, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced that Economic Injury Disaster

Loans were being made available “to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations located in Maine as a result of the drought that began on May 1, 2018.”

The loans are available in Maine in Aroostook, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset and Washington counties.

Disaster loan information and application forms are available online at disasterloan.sba.gov or by calling the SBA’s Customer

Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing).

Some rain this week helped the situation somewhat, according to Cornwell.

About a quarter inch of rain fell on southern Aroostook Monday with less than a tenth of an inch in the Caribou area and St. John Valley.

More rain fell down state, where Bangor received 0.86 inches and Hermon received 0.59 inches. In Washington County, Columbia Falls received 2.10 inches, while Danforth received 0.82 inches.

“The rain was definitely beneficial for the coast,” Cornwell said.

Although Hurricane Leslie continues to slowly move well off the Atlantic coast this week, according to the meteorologist, there will be no impact on Maine aside from an increase in high swells later in the week and into the weekend.

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