A flood warning for a portion of the Kennebec River that overflowed during the weekend is expected to remain in effect through late Monday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Ice jams that impede the flow of water downstream are causing the flooding.

The water level in the river was at 13.5 feet as of 3 p.m. Monday, which is 18 inches above flood stage, according to the weather service. At that depth, the water covers the town dock in Hallowell and parking on Front Street in Augusta, the weather service said.

“The river will continue to fall to below flood stage by this evening,” the service said in the warning. “Do not drive through flooded areas — it is impossible to know if the road is safe for travel. Turn around, don’t drown!”

Downtown areas of Hallowell and Augusta next to the river were swamped with several feet water over the weekend after heavy rains and warm weather late last week resulted in ice jams on Saturday. Some cars parked next to the river off Water Street in downtown Hallowell were completely submerged over the weekend, while water flowed into some buildings on Front Street in Augusta.

The river remained flooded around 2 p.m. Monday, according to George Manlove, an Old Town resident who was in the area and said he saw several cars parked along Front Street in Hallowell that were underwater.

“There were about a dozen underwater,” Manlove said. “A couple of tow trucks and wreckers were waiting in the wings” to haul the cars away after the water subsides.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....