Governor Mills Declares State of Civil Emergency for Coastal Counties Impacted by Flooding; Urges Maine People to Prepare for Coming Storm

Governor Janet Mills announced today that she has declared a State of Civil Emergency for all of Maine’s coastal counties.

The eight counties – Cumberland, Hancock, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Waldo, Washington, and York – were significantly impacted by flooding and infrastructure damage caused by the severe rain, wind, and snow storm that battered the state on Tuesday night into Wednesday. The State stands ready to assist other counties impacted by the storm as well.

The Governor’s declaration of a State of Civil Emergency mobilizes all State of Maine resources to assist and support response and recovery efforts, to prepare for the significant rain and wind event forecast for this coming Saturday, and to position the State to seek disaster support from the Federal government.

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

In addition to further mobilizing State resources, the State of Civil Emergency strengthens Maine’s ability to seek Federal financial assistance through a Federal Disaster Declaration. Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has begun working with local partners to assess the damage caused by the storm. The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR), with the support of the Maine Forest Service, is conducting an aerial survey along the coast today to document damage.

MEMA and DMR are urging individuals of private industry and privately owned commercial infrastructure who sustained property damage from the January 10th storm, including wharfs, floats, vessels, etc. to document and report that damage by filling out the Business and Agriculture Initial Damage Assessment Survey (online). This is not an application for assistance nor a guarantee of financial assistance. Submission of damage information will help the State of Maine best understand the extent of damage from the January 10th storm.

Individuals who sustained damages to their primary residence are encouraged to report their damages to 211 Maine or report that damage by filling out the Individuals & Households Initial Damage Assessment Survey (online). This is also not an application for assistance nor a guarantee of financial assistance.

If that damage meets the financial statutory threshold exceeding the State’s ability to respond, Governor Mills will seek another Federal Disaster Declaration – in addition to the one the State is preparing to submit to the Federal government for last month’s storm.

MaineDOT will also work with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to assess the damages on the state’s federal-aid highways and seek Federal financial assistance through FHWA under applicable sections of Title 23, U.S.C.

“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,” the Governor continued. “My Administration will use this information and other estimates collected by MEMA to request a Disaster Declaration from President Biden as soon as possible, which, if granted will help unlock important Federal funding to support our recovery.”

The Governor warned Maine people to prepare for a similar storm forecasted for Saturday:

“MEMA and its partners will continue to monitor the impacts of this storm and make preparations for Saturday’s weather event. I strongly urge Maine people to follow the direction of local emergency officials to protect themselves and their property to the greatest extent possible,” Governor Mills continued. “Remember, it is never safe to walk through flowing water, drive through flooded areas, or drive around road barriers.”

“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. 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,” she concluded.

The Governor declared the State of Civil Emergency verbally as permitted under state statute. A written copy of Governor Mills' declaration will be available within 24 hours once field with the Secretary of State. The State of the Civil Emergency will last for one week, and the Governor will continue to evaluate the necessity of it on a day-to-day basis.

If Maine people need emergency assistance, they should dial 911. If Maine people need non-emergency assistance, like information about where to find a warming or charging center, they should call 211, or text their zip code to 898–211.

The Governor also launched an online “Maine Flood Resources and Assistance Hub” that aggregates information, resources, and assistance for Maine people impacted by flooding and damages. The information is available at: