Ram Ledge Light can be seen in the distance as large waves from the storm break against rocks at Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth on Wednesday. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday declared a state of civil emergency for all of Maine’s coastal counties because of significant flood, wind and wave damage from this week’s powerful storm.

The declaration allows the state to marshal resources to assist communities that have been hard hit, specifically in eight counties along the coast – Cumberland, Hancock, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Waldo, Washington, and York. It also positions the state to seek federal disaster relief funds.

“Significant rain, wind, and flooding have once again ravaged our state – this time our small communities up and down the coast,” Mills said in a statement. “The damage we are seeing is devastating, from working waterfronts, to small businesses, to public roadways and more.”

State agencies, including the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) and Maine Forest Service, spent Thursday surveying damage from the latest storm, including to the lighthouse at Pemaquid Point, one of the state’s most photographed spots.

If damage meets the threshold that exceeds the state’s ability to respond, Mills said she will seek another federal disaster declaration. Already, her administration is seeking relief for damage caused by a pre-holiday storm that led to widespread flooding of inland communities, particularly those along the Androscoggin and Kennebec rivers.

“We will continue to work closely with local officials to assess and repair damage as quickly as possible and to seek any and all available federal support. I urge Maine people – especially those along our working waterfronts – to report their damage,” Mills said.

Just as Mainers are recovering from the most recent storm, another storm is forecasted for Saturday that could threatened coastal communities. Mills warned residents to prepare and do everything they can to protect their property.

“One thing is abundantly clear: these extreme weather events are becoming more and more common, which means Maine and Maine people will continue to feel the impacts of them in the months and years ahead,” she said. “In the wake of last month’s and yesterday’s storms, and in anticipation of those to come, we must have a serious conversation as a state about action we can take to ensure our state and communities are prepared for and more resilient to the impacts of these weather events.”

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