CARRABASSETT VALLEY – Floodwaters from Tropical Storm Irene made it unsafe to let a Canadian family who got caught in Sunday’s storm stay at the Carrabassett Inn, says its owner Jeff Jacques.

The family from Toronto stopped at the inn on Route 27 during the height of the flooding Sunday afternoon in Carrabassett Valley, said Jacques, who owns the inn with his wife, Mary.

Jacques said Wednesday that the Carrabassett River, which runs directly behind the inn, had already spilled over nearby fields and appeared on the brink of flooding the inn when the family with three young girls arrived.

He said he told the family to seek shelter on higher ground and directed them to head south on Route 27, back to hotels in Kingfield, about 10 miles from the inn. “We were telling them you’ve got to get south to Kingfield before the roads were gone,” he said.

The inn is in a flood plain and Jacques, his wife and several employees were preparing to evacuate when they told the family to find safer shelter..

Rob Roberts, the father, said Tuesday that his family left the inn and pulled into a nearby neighborhood to sleep in their van on higher ground.

That’s when Robert Dupre saw them and invited them to wait out the storm in his home.

The executive director of the Maine Innkeepers Association said the Jacqueses did the right thing, considering the extraordinary pressures from the storm.

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer David Robinson can be contacted at 861-9287 or at:

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