All eyes on the Aroostook River

All eyes on the Aroostook river due to flooding.

FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Flood season is officially in Maine, especially for those living in Aroostook county. As temperatures rise, ice continues to break and concerns rise about ice jams which could cause flooding.

Normally Russell road in Fort Fairfield is a great short cut for many drivers, but not recently. For the past couple days, it has been covered in almost a foot of water. But officials said for this time of year, that is not a surprise.

Officer Shawn Newell is the director of public safety. He said the month of April is always on his watch list. 

“Unfortunately, we can control a lot of things but mother nature isn't one of them,” he said. “So we're really at her mercy.”

He said ice buildup and jams could become an inconvenience for this small community.
“We know it's going to happen, we just don't know when it's going to happen,” said Newell.

Ice buildup on the river does not necessarily have a huge impact on people's lives, he said. The problem is when ice starts building up and creates a dam in the river which then backs up the water.

“That's when we start to get more concerned and become worried,” he said.

Fortunately no one lives in this flooded section of Russell Road, but an increase in temperature and rainfall could raise these levels and block even more of the road.

But Newell said it has not gotten that bad in years.

“This is fairly mild,” he said.

But since there is still plenty of ice on the river, major flooding is not out of the question just yet.

Officer Newell said the road could be unblocked as early as Thursday or as late as next week. In the meantime, he encourages people to keep their cars away from the area. 

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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