June 4, 2012

Flood warning issued for southern and western Maine

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

GRAY — The worst is over but forecasters say the rain will continue to fall in much of Maine for a few more days.

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Staff Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette: Bernie Malouin watches a large wave crash over Eastern Ave. at Camp Ellis in Saco from a wall in front of his cottage Monday, June 4, 2012. The wave soaked Malouin who continued to monitor the high tide under the cover of his cottage after changing into some dry clothes.

click image to enlarge

Rick Higgins, a Scarborough employee, keeps tabs on the rising water on Gorham Road in Scarborough on Sunday. Water from the nearby Nonesuch River was overtaking the road due to the heavy rain.

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A flood warning issued by the National Weather Service in Gray will be in affect until at least 8 p.m. as rain continues to fall throughout the state.

The flood watch issued for southern and western Maine as well as parts of New Hampshire reflects continued rainfall of between one-quarter and one-half inch through this afternoon. Most of that rain will become runoff, because the ground is saturated, and will contribute to river and stream flooding, the weather service said.

A flood warning means flooding is occurring or imminent.

Some roads in southern Maine remain closed, including lower Blackstrap Road in Falmouth and Route 231 in New Gloucester, according to a state database, which can be found at the Maine Department of Transportation's highway information website. Blackstrap Road, between Washington Avenue and Poplar Ridg Road, will be closed til June 11, according to the website.

The level on the Presumpscot River in Westbrook is 15.17 feet and flood stage is 15 feet, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Androscoggin River near Auburn is at 16.74 feet and flood stage is 13 feet.

For information about river flooding go to the USGS website.

The state received record-setting heavy rains over the weekend that caused minor flooding, closed roads and hampered weekend activities.

Transportation officials have closed more than half a dozen low-lying bridges in various towns as a precaution, with numerous roads also closed or impassable because of high water.

The weather service says more than 8 inches fell in Bridgton, Auburn and Bath, with more than 7 inches recorded in Portland and surrounding communities, Brunswick and other midcoast towns.

The weather service warns motorists against driving through water covering a road and against walking through rain-swollen streams.

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