Most of the dunes at South Portland’s Willard Beach, which have been the subject of multiple rehabilitation efforts in recent years, were washed away in the January storms. Drew Johnson / The Forecaster

Recovery plans are underway to repair damages to public infrastructure from two storms that struck coastal communities last month, and South Portland, Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth are pursuing county, state and federal funding for their recovery efforts.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency is lobbying for a federal disaster declaration for the coastal area that was hit hard by the Jan. 10 and Jan. 13 storms. The declaration, if received, could provide some financial assistance to private property owners who were impacted. President Biden this week declared Central Maine a disaster area for flooding damage it received in December storms.

South Portland

State officials will provide information to help guide the city’s storm recovery plan at a public workshop at 6:00 p.m. Feb. 13 at the high school.

“This is particularly important when thinking about the fishing shacks since where they stood is a Shoreland Zone and a Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Zone,” Shara Dee, the city’s communications officer, said in an email to The Forecaster. “The city is limited in options it can pursue and must adhere to applicable state and federal standards in any action it takes.”

The dunes at Willard Beach, which mostly were swept away in the January storms, will also be a topic of discussion.


Damage along the Greenbelt’s paved pathway at Bug Light Park will be repaired in the spring. Until then, damaged sections are painted to caution visitors.


All but one of the Scarborough roads that were shut down because of damaging floods during the storms have reopened, according to Rich Kindelan, fire chief and town emergency management director.

“Black Point Road in Prouts Neck remains down to one lane in the vicinity of the Yacht Club due to banking erosion close to the roadway,” he said.

Representatives from the county and state emergency management agencies and FEMA made site visits to damaged areas in Scarborough last week. The County Emergency Management Agency and FEMA had been scheduled for site visits again this week, but those were postponed to an as yet undetermined date.

Because the federal government just issued a disaster declaration for Maine’s December storms, which saw major flooding across central Maine, FEMA’s efforts there are now its priority and “requires all hands on deck,” Kindelan said.


Cape Elizabeth

Cape Elizabeth has consolidated damages and estimates for needed repairs to the town’s infrastructure and provided that information to FEMA, Town Manager Matt Sturgis said Wednesday.

“We’re lined up to get our claim taken care of,” he said.

Some main roadways were damaged in town and the door of the iconic Portland Head Light at Fort Williams Park was damaged along with the roof of its Whistle House.

“It’s only the town’s infrastructure and damages that we incurred, such as Kettle Cove and Shore Road damages we had and damages at the lighthouse, but some of that’s covered by our regular casualty insurance,” he said.

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