storm preps

Maine Braces for Potential Flooding, Downed Lines as Isaias Moves North

Officials with MEMA recommended that residents with boats and other watercraft take them in and to have extra masks and hand sanitizer on hand in the event they need to go to a shelter

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As Isaias moves northward, Maine was bracing late Tuesday for potential flooding on the coast and a tornado risk inland.

Tropical storm warnings extended all the way up in the coast and into the western part of the state, while tropical storm watches covered the rest of Maine by the afternoon.

According to Maine Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman, Susan Faloon, officials representing Maine's state agencies, utility companies and other bodies held an extensive meeting Tuesday morning to discuss concerns and a response to the storm's aftermath.

Among the tips MEMA is recommending for people living in or visiting Maine while Isaias poses a threat is downloading the Federal Emergency Management Agency or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration apps and turning weather alerts on so if there is a sudden event like a tornado, people will be alerted immediately.

"One of the most important things that people can do is be aware of what's going on around them," Faloon said.

MEMA is also recommending Mainers take note of where nearby cooling centers are located should they lose power.

With hot temperatures and at least some downed lines expected in the wake of Isaias, Faloon says some people in the state made need access to a building or shelter that has air conditioning.

However, she cautioned that anyone seeking out a shelter or cooling center should also be mindful of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and wear a mask, not share food and physically distance themselves if they visit one of those locations.

"We have to consider we're still in a pandemic," Faloon said. "If you're not feeling well then you should not be going to that shelter, so now would be a good time to identify some alternative locations that you could go to."

Other storm preparation suggestions from the state included having extra masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes on hand.

MEMA is also recommending that anyone with a boat or other watercraft take them onto land.

The U.S. Coast Guard checked in with boaters Tuesday morning off Portland Head Light about the storm as well.

"We don't think it's going to be an apocalypse storm but we certainly don't want to be underprepared," Faloon said.

Isaias has been downgraded to a tropical storm after battering North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane on Monday night.

Visitors to the lighthouse like Mike Kaplan his wife Lisa from Kittery said Isaias was not really top of mind for them yet.

"(Hadn't) heard one person even concerned about it whatsoever, Lisa Kaplan said. "If it rains that would be great, I wouldn't have to worry about my flowers and my vegetables."

"if it hits me, it hits me. I'm not worried about it," added a father from Ohio who was at Fort Williams with his family.

Still, MEMA said it may be worthwhile for Maine homeowners to tie down lawn furniture.

The City of Portland also sent staff into an encampment on the steps of City Hall to urge people protesting homelessness there to seek shelter for the evening.

But with most of Tuesday quiet in Maine, many in the state said they would simply delay plans for activities like boating and looked forward to getting on with regular summer activities.

"It was only a category one down south, how much worse can it be up here," asked Mike Kaplan.

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