January 16

Sidney Kennebec River floodwatch off

National Weather Service says water levels have lowered after initial alert about ice jams.

By Jesse Scardina jscardina@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Water levels in the Kennebec River dropped below the flood threshold Thursday, removing a flood warning the Maine Emergency Management Agency issued the previous night.

The National Weather Service in Gray said water in the river north of Sidney was quickly rising and would likely rise above the flood level of 17 feet Wednesday night. The alert was issued at 8:45 p.m. Wednesday was discontinued Thursday afternoon, according to a Eric Schwibs, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Gray.

“The water level dropped to 15.7 feet by 1 p.m. and the flood level is 17 feet, so the warning was removed,” Schwibs said.

The initial higher water levels were caused by ice jams blocking the flow of the river, according to the warning. The cancellation said the ice jam remained in the river, but the water was moving freely around and under the jam.

While the flood warning was removed, officials said ice jams are unpredictable and can form quickly, causing water levels to rise rapidly.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239jscardina@centralmaine.com

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