AUGUSTA — The Kennebec River has started to recede after reaching a peak flood that was not as significant as officials had feared.
The river was running around 14.85 feet in Augusta at 12:45 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Flood stage is 12 feet. The water level crested at about 17.4 feet around 8 p.m. Wednesday, which is a couple of feet less than the 20-foot high-water mark predicted earlier this week.
Augusta Fire Chief Roger Audette said crews were already making plans to clean up the Front Street parking lot, which continues to be at least partially submerged. Audette said the other problem spot, Bond Brook, never flooded and is no longer a threat to flood.
“We’re fortunate,” Audette said. “We see the damage in other parts of the state. We’re lucky it wasn’t worse than it was.”
The Kennebec River is expected to continue to recede and finally fall below flood stage early Friday morning.
Looking ahead, the weather over the next seven to 10 days should make for a gradual snow melt, said Tom Hawley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray.
“There’s nothing that looks to produce any renewed flooding,” he said.
The next snow survey for northern and western Maine is set for Monday and Tuesday next week, which will give forecasters a better idea of just how much snow is left. He said cold nights and daily highs in the 40s and 50s should help melt the snow “without causing any issues.”