The Spin Room at Cape Elizabeth Community Services received severe water damage as the result of the Dec. 23 storm and could take 60 or more days to repair. Contributed by Cape Elizabeth Community Services

Damage to the Cape Elizabeth Community Services building and Portland Head Light, caused by the winter storm just before Christmas, may take two months or more to repair.

Dunes at Willard Beach in South Portland, battered by the wind and waves during the Dec. 23 storm are in need of remediation as well.

While Portland Head Light at Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth took a blow, the town’s Community Services building saw the most severe damage and has been shut down until repairs can be made. A heating unit failed, leading to frozen pipes and flooding.

“It was significant. It took out the upper-level flooring and drywall,” Town Manager Matt Sturgis said.

Water eventually leaked through to the first floor, damaging the ceiling, drywall and equipment.

The Activity Room on the second floor and Spin Room on the lower level were the most severely damaged, and repairs could take 60 days or more, Sturgis said. The town is working with insurers on the cost estimate for the repairs.


Although the building is temporarily closed, Sturgis credited the Community Services staff for finding “new homes for a lot of the programming,” including finding available space at other town buildings.

While less severe, damage to Portland Head Light may take longer to repair as the town works with insurers and FEMA to see how much remediation efforts will cost and how they can be funded.

“Four windows were destroyed and the door was demolished,” Sturgis said. “Interior damage will require some floor repairs and drying out, and we’ll see if there are any additional impacts.”

In South Portland, Willard Beach took the brunt of the storm. The dunes between Willow and Beach streets were “washed out,” according to Communications Officer Shara Drew. Temporary fencing and some signs were destroyed.

It may take years for the dunes to be restored, Drew said, but the city will work with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to ensure its restoration efforts are effective.

The old fishing shacks at Fisherman’s Point were also damaged. Roof shingles and siding were ripped off by the high winds.

Aside from the flooding of Route 1 through the marsh, Scarborough received minimal damage in storm, according to Fire Chief Rich Kindelan.

“No structure damages have been identified at this time,” Kindelan said. “However, the (Route 1) wash-over required an extended shutdown of both north and southbound lanes.”

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