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MAINE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
The Flood of 1987: Remember
March 30, 2007
AUGUSTA, MAINE -- 20 years ago this week, the State of Maine suffered one of the worst natural disasters in its history. The Maine River Flow Advisory Commission would like Mainers to remember the lessons of the Flood of 1987.
Maine had a normal snowpack, and normal flood potential in late March of 1987. However, a warm rainstorm brought 4 to 6 inches of rain to the mountains of Maine and New Hampshire, which combined with 6 or more inches of melted snow. The water ran over frozen ground, and streams and rivers began to rise. Flooding became disastrous on April 1, 1987 on Maine’s major rivers. The result:
20 years later, many things have improved in the state:
Despite advances in mitigation and preparedness, there are always opportunities for improvement. A study by the University of Maine Land and Water Resources Center in 1987 noted that floods become disasters by virtue of the placement of people and property in their way. Contributing factors to flood damage cited in the report remain important to consider today:
In theory, a flood of this magnitude should occur only once in a hundred years or more. In reality, it can happen at any time when the wrong weather factors come together. Though we cannot stop such a flood from occurring, we can all try to reduce its effects.
Maine communities can:
Maine residents and business owners can:
And we can all do one very important thing: Remember.
To learn more:
Last update: 07/20/10
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