Warm temps, heavy rain melt snow, threat of flooding increases

13 years ago

By Natalie Bazinet
Staff Writer

    It’s beginning to look a lot like … spring, which is quite contrary to a typical Aroostook December; Monday brought in record-breaking warmth to The County and beyond, as both Caribou and Bangor topped the charts with a high of 57 degrees. The mercury in Houlton and Presque Isle didn’t rise quite as high — 56 degrees and 55 degrees respectively — but the driveway-de-icing, fuel-oil-conserving “heat wave” is still locally perceived as being a bit of a holiday humbug.
    But the warm temperatures didn’t stay the weather warnings; a Winter Weather Advisory for snow was issued yesterday afternoon that went into effect on midnight last night until this afternoon, cautioning drivers of today’s precipitation. The warning called for snow or a snow/rain mix that could yield two to five inches of precipitation. Temperatures were estimated to range from the upper 20s to lower 30s with winds northwest from 10 to 15 miles per hours.
Houlton Pioneer Times Photo/Joseph Cyr
NE-CLR-Flood-dc-pt-50QUITE THE RAIN — Monday’s persistent, heavy rain caused major headaches for a number of residents in the Southern Aroostook area. Several roads were covered with water after rivers and streams flooded. This residence on the Porter Settlement Road was typical of several along the Meduxnekeag River as water flowed over the banks.

    Sunday and Monday’s rainfall drenched Aroostook County, leaving 2.28 inches of rain in Caribou, 2.88 in Houlton and 2.58 in Presque Isle; the highest amount of rain received during the early-week rain was in Orient, where 4.05 inches of rain was recorded.
    In southern Aroostook County, where water is on the verge on breeching some brook banks as their 12 to 14 inches of snow has melted, additional water could be quite problematic. A flood warning was issued on Tuesday for the Island Falls area.
    “The soil is quite saturated and the snow is gone for the most part,” explained Caribou National Weather Service Meteorologist Todd Lericos, “The snow is working its way through the system; add to that the rain and you get more and more runoff into the streams and creeks and that’s what’s causing some of the flooding concerns.”