January 7

Decal Gymnastics in Farmington to close for one month due to flood damage

Spots of flooding and damage have been reported in Franklin, Somerset and Kennebec counties following Monday’s rain.

By Kaitlin Schroeder kschroeder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

The phones are ringing off the hook at Advance 1 Cleaning Services in Waterville.

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Staff photo by David Leaming UNWELCOME SURPRISE: Carol Hamilton, co-owner of Decal Gymnastics in Farmington, holds a water-soaked mat used at the facility on Tuesday. Hamilton said water from the roof entered the building and soaked flooring, carpets, mats and dance equipment Monday evening. She said she hopes to reopen in a month.

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Staff photo by David Leaming RIPPING UP: Decal Gymnastics employees Whitney Blanchet, left, Kelli Hanson, center, and co-owner Delani Evans pull up carpet and other materials from the floor of the Farmington business on Tuesday. Water that poured in from the roof was discovered Monday evening damaging the spring floor, mats, carpets and foam pads.

Additional Photos Below

“There’s all kinds of disasters,” said Tiffany Willman, head of marketing, estimating and advertising, after Monday’s spike in temperatures caused widespread flooding across the region.

Willman didn’t have an exact count of calls Tuesday, but it was a lot, even as temperatures plummeted back down into the single digits.“There’s so many right now and they’re still coming in,” she said.

Decal Gymnastics in Farmington was one of many homes and businesses in central Maine damaged in scattered flooding after about an inch of rain fell Monday on piles of snow and ice built up since early December.

The gym staff cleaned the mess up themselves after about an inch of water seeped onto the floor from the roof, according to owner Carol Hamilton. She said the gym will be closed for a month while the damage is repaired.

Roads were affected, too, as the warmest temperatures in more than a month briefly hit the region Monday. Road crews rushed throughout the day to clear storm drains from snow that was keeping water from draining, causing roads to flood and freeze.

Several Kennebec County communities reported problems with flooding Monday and Tuesday, while Franklin and Somerset counties reported spotted road flooding issues.

Flooding was reported in Augusta, Hallowell, Waterville and Winslow, according to Sean Goodwin, deputy director of Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency. More than two dozen flooding calls were reported throughout the county, but the total is likely to be higher as many people handle the issues themselves or hire private businesses, he said.

The basement of the Maine Department of Transportation headquarters in Augusta was flooded when a pipe burst and small leaks in the roof from ice dams built up, but none of the damage was significant, according to Dale Doughty, director of the department’s Bureau of Maintenance and Operations.

In Franklin County, Emergency Management Director Tim Hardy said that major problems were averted by public works crews and the Maine Department of Transportation clearing storm drains Monday that were covered in piles of snow.

There was concern was that the piles of plowed snow on drains would block rainfall and the trapped water would eventually freeze on the roads and create a hazard.

Hardy said there was scattered reports of trees on the road and power outages.

Somerset County Emergency Management Director Mike Smith said the county had similar problems because of ice blocking storm drains.

“Public works had to punch holes in the snow banks so the water could drain,” Smith said.

He said localized flooding was reported in Skowhegan on Madison Avenue, Island Avenue and Notch Road.

At Decal Gymnastics, the four-person staff was rushing Tuesday to clean up the damage.

Area gymnastic competitions will be starting in February, and Hamilton said she is worried that the temporary closing will affect the students preparing to compete.

“I feel bad for the kids,” she said.

The staff in Farmington is encouraging the 120 children who attend the center to practice at its other sites in the meantime.

Co-owner Delani Evans said she found about an inch of standing water Monday night in the U.S. Route 2 gym, which is adjacent to Big Lots. Evans said there were no classes that day, and when she got there around 7 p.m. the water had spread through the room and soaked the mats and equipment.

“If I stood barefoot, it would have covered my toes,” she said.

Staff mopped and used a Shop-Vac to clean the floor for about two hours Monday night and for most of Tuesday.

Hamilton said the gym is facing loss of revenue and, depending on insurance, the cost of replacing damaged mats, spring boards and walls. She said if the gymnastics mats don’t dry out properly, it will cost between $5,000 and $10,000 to replace them.

The Farmington gymnastics center underwent renovations over past two weeks while there was a break between classes. Work painting the room had just finished Friday.

About 800 children take classes at Decal Gymnastics’ Augusta, Waterville, Farmington gyms and satellite classes at the Skowhegan Recreation Center, said Hamilton.

Most parents the staff called Tuesday said they would not be traveling to neighboring areas to practice, said Hamilton.

“We’ll just clean it up and pray people come back,” Hamilton said.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252kschroeder@centralmaine.com
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Additional Photos

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Staff photo by David Leaming SPRING HAS SPRUNG: Owners and employees of Decal Gymnastics talk about the damage caused after water from the roof of the Farmington business poured over the spring flooring, foreground, mats, carpets and equipment Monday evening.

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Staff photo by David Leaming REPAIR: Decal Gymnastics co-owner Delani Evans, left, employee Whitney Blanchet and volunteer Dennis Hanson, in background, remove items from the water-soaked floor of the Farmington business on Tuesda. Water from the roof soaked the spring floor, mats, carpets and foam pads on Monday evening.


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