Though the exact track of Hurricane Earl is still uncertain, Maine can expect high, dangerous surf and rip currents as the storm approaches and passes by.

Gov. John Baldacci participated in national and state conference calls regarding the hurricane Sept. 1 and was briefed by the National Hurricane Center and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. 

“Administrator Fugate has made specially trained FEMA advance teams available to the states threatened by the hurricane,” the governor said. “A team has already arrived in Maine and is working with the MEMA staff to coordinate information and resource needs.”

The governor then participated in a call with MEMA, National Weather Service forecast offices in Gray and Caribou, county and local emergency managers, and federal agency and private sector partners. 

National Weather service and state officials stress that high surf, large breaking waves and rip currents will pose threats to safety regardless of the exact track of the storm. 

“Many Mainers and visitors will flock to our beaches and rocky coastal areas to experience the high surf,” Baldacci said. “We’ll continue to coordinate with the weather service, Acadia National Park and all coastal areas to ensure that all steps are taken to protect public safety.”

It remains critically important for all Mainers to pay attention to weather forecasts on the progress of Hurricane Earl, and to respect all local warnings or restrictions regarding ocean access or any other safety concerns. 

Hurricane Earl is expected to pass through the Gulf of Maine and have maximum impact on Maine Friday night into Saturday and through the day Saturday in Down East sections. In addition to the dangers posed by high surf and rip currents, if Earl tracks further to the west, higher winds and heavy rains could impact a larger portion of the state. 

In accordance with established plans, MEMA will hold a daily conference call with the weather service and government and private sector partners to ensure that all officials, responders, public utilities and key private sector partners have the information they need and are coordinating activities before, during and after the storm. 

All Mainers and visitors should stay informed of the most current National Weather Service forecasts. Any change in the track of Hurricane Earl will make a great difference in the effect on Maine.

Beach-goers and sightseers should respect all barricades and access restrictions in coastal locations. High surf is beautiful but deadly. Respect all warnings at beaches regarding rip currents and obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards

Boat owners should monitor local and national weather sources continuously and follow the recommendations of local marinas or harbor masters with regard to securing or moving boats. Remove small boats from the water and move them to secure locations. Ensure the trailers and boats are secured above likely flood areas. If a boat is too large to be removed from the water, move it to a safe haven well before the storm approaches.

Federal, state, county and local officials have been monitoring the progress of Hurricane Earl and putting contingency plans in place since late last week.  Because the Labor Day weekend is expected to bring a surge of holiday visitors to coastal Maine, beach and boat safety have been of special concern to local and state officials. 

Safety and preparedness messages on hurricane effects and rip current can be found at