A couple walks on Val Halla Road in Cumberland near where a tree fell on power lines on Monday. Sunday night’s wind and rainstorm caused power outages for about 48,000 Central Maine Power customers. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

A powerful, wind-driven rainstorm that dropped more than 5 inches of rain in parts of Maine Sunday night into Monday morning knocked out power to thousands and could cause river flooding over the next few days.

The storm led to numerous reports of motorists stranded in floodwaters, roads washed away and widespread outages. CMP reported that the number of outages peaked at around 48,000, with a total of roughly 68,000 reported during the storm. Just over 1,000 Central Maine Power customers remained without power as of 8:45 p.m. Monday.

The National Weather Service in Gray put 10 counties, including Cumberland, Oxford and York, under a flood advisory Monday night. The advisory will remain in effect through Tuesday, as the weather service expects the rainfall from the storm to cause rivers and streams to rise over the next day or so. The Androscoggin, Carrabassett, Kennebec, Presumpscot, Saco, Swift and Sandy had reached flood levels as of Monday night.

Rain totals posted by the weather service showed that Shapleigh got more than 5 inches, Bridgton reported 4.9 inches, Leeds 5.32 inches, Harpswell 4.62 inches, Farmington 5 inches, Manchester 6.09 inches, Union 6.0 inches, Newcastle 6.3 inches, Brunswick 4.1 inches and Waterford 4.78 inches.

The Presumpscot River in Portland filled with water from the near-constant rain over the weekend on Monday. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

The rain was expected to return Tuesday with widespread showers for most of the day. A few thunderstorms are possible, the weather service said.

After that, a low-pressure system will keep the region rainy Wednesday and Thursday, with conditions slowly drying out through the weekend as high pressure moves across northern New England. Temperatures should be in the 60s and could reach around 70 on Saturday and Sunday.


A small craft advisory has been issued through 2 p.m. Wednesday for coastal waters from Stonington to the Merrimack River in Massachusetts.

The Presumpscot River was at 14 feet at 11 a.m. Monday, the weather service said. At that level, water approaches the backyards of properties along Water Street in Westbrook and Riverside Street in Portland.

“Turn around, don’t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles,” the weather service warned. “Be especially cautious at night when it is hard to recognize the dangers of flooding.”

Roads became impassable in Dixfield due to the heavy rains over the weekend. Dixfield Fire Company’s Facebook photo

One motorist, who was traveling through the town of Stow in Oxford County on Monday morning, learned the hard way. Crews from the Saco Valley Fire Association had to rescue the motorist after the vehicle became engulfed by flood waters on Kezar Lake Road.

Oxford County Emergency Management Agency Director Allyson Hill said the department received an alarming number of reports regarding vehicles trapped in flood waters or sinkholes. Of the 80 reports she had received by 11 a.m. Monday morning regarding the storm, at least six involved vehicles.

She emphasized that vehicles should not drive through pools of standing water. Sinkholes have formed on numerous roadways across the county, she said.


“You really, really don’t know if the road is still there,” Hill said.

In Newry, rescue crews assisted passengers in two cars caught in floodwaters on Route 26 just after noon. One car alone held six people, Newry Fire Chief Alan Fleet said. As of 11:30 a.m., the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency listed 37 road closures from Rangeley to Jay.

Route 4 near Smalls Falls in Rangeley flooded due to the rain over the weekend. Rangeley Fire Rescue Facebook photo

Rumford-based Regional School Unit 10 canceled classes, and students in Jay-based RSU 73, Farmington-based RSU 9 and Philips-based MSAD 58 were dismissed early from school Monday due to rising flood waters and downed trees. Dixfield-based RSU 56 held classes remotely.

Skowhegan Fire Chief Ron Rodriguez said his department had responded to reports of flooding and road washouts Monday, including the eastbound side of Route 2, where traffic was diverted around the flooding and at the New Balance factory warehouse off the Waterville Road, where the parking lot was washed out.

“The river is raging,” Rodriguez said, referring to the Kennebec.

Jason Decker, deputy director of the Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency, said Monday that the Kennebec River was expected to rise over its banks around midnight Monday, reaching 20 feet, 4 inches in Augusta and 16 feet, 10 inches in Hallowell. By early afternoon, the river had already reached flood stage in Augusta at 12 feet, and in Hallowell at 11 feet.


In Regional School Unit 3, which serves 11 towns between Waterville and Belfast, officials were working to establish new bus routes because of road closures and detours, and notified families to expect delays in bus dropoffs after school.

Richmond schools and Dresden Elementary School, which are all part of Regional School Unit 2, did not open Monday because of washouts, downed wires and flooding that closed several roads in those towns.

Power was out early Monday for more than 46,000 CMP customers, but crews restored power to 75% of those homes and businesses by midafternoon. Most of the remaining outages were in Cumberland, Androscoggin, Knox and Lincoln counties. At one point, all of Harpswell’s 4,746 customers were without power, but only 26 didn’t have power at 8:30 p.m.

A car sits in a flooded parking lot off of St. James Street in Portland after the weekend storm on Monday. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

In anticipation of the storm, CMP staged extra line and vegetation management crews across its service area on Sunday. More than 200 additional line crews worked to restore power, including crews from Connecticut.

Jon Breed, CMP’s spokesperson, said restoration slowed in some locations where roads were blocked by significant flooding and that may cause some outages to stretch into Tuesday.

“While some teams have encountered blocked roads due to downed trees and localized flooding, we are making good progress and will continue working until all customers have their power restored,” he said.

Press Herald Staff Writer Dennis Hoey, Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Amy Calder and Sun Journal Staff Writer Vanessa Paolella contributed to this report.

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