Governor Mills Declares State of Civil Emergency Following Heavy Damage from Wind & Rain Storm

Declaration mobilizes State resources for hard hit Maine counties

MEMA, Maine DOT, and Public Safety officials continue to work around the clock to assess damage & support and advance recovery efforts

Governor Janet Mills announced today that she has declared a State of Civil Emergency for 14 Maine counties following a significant wind and rain storm that has left hundreds of thousands of people without power and that has caused significant flooding and infrastructure damage, including to the state’s federal-aid highways.

The Proclamation of a State of Civil Emergency – declared for Androscoggin, Aroostook, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Sagadahoc, Somerset, Waldo and Washington Counties – mobilizes all State of Maine resources to assist and support response and recovery efforts and positions the State to seek Federal disaster support in the coming weeks. The 14 counties were selected to target assistance to the areas hardest hit, though the State stands ready to assist all counties in need.

“My Administration has been in close and constant communication with local and Federal officials throughout this storm, and I have been briefed by the Director of the Maine Emergency Management Agency as well as the Commissioners of the Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, and others on our coordinated response efforts,” said Governor Mills.

“Since the beginning of this storm, I have told my Administration to assist and support local officials wherever needed to help Maine people respond and stay safe. My Administration has been and will continue to work around the clock, in partnership with local public safety officials, county emergency management personnel, and CMP and Versant to clear debris from roads, to assess and repair damage caused by flood waters, and to restore power to Maine people as soon as possible,” Governor Mills continued, “This declaration of civil emergency formalizes our all-hands-on-deck approach and ensures that every State resource is available to towns across Maine that need assistance. For example, helicopters from the Maine Forest Service are conducting general aerial assessments and helping CMP survey damage to the electricity grid so that power can be restored more quickly.”

Governor Mills has also spoken with the President and CEO of CMP, Joe Purington, and the President of Versant Power, John Flynn, to receive updates about their power restoration efforts and to offer State support where needed. The Maine Department of Transportation is also working to clear roadways of debris, assess damage, and begin repair efforts while Maine Emergency Management Agency continues to coordinate resource requests with county emergency management officials.

The Governor urged Maine people to continue to be vigilant and to exercise caution.

“Flooding continues to be a serious risk in many areas of the state. I cannot stress this enough – if you live in an area that is hard hit, please stay off the roads as much as possible and stay away from flooded areas, including flooded roadways. Doing so will protect your safety and will allow first responders and restoration crews to assess the damage and move forward with their clean up and restoration efforts more quickly. We are looking at a multi-day recovery effort right now, and Maine people can do their part by exercising vigilance and caution,” the Governor said.

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. In the coming days, Maine Emergency Management Agency will work with county emergency management officials to assess infrastructure damage. If that damage meets the financial statutory threshold exceeding the State’s ability to respond, Governor Mills said she will seek a Federal Disaster Declaration. Meanwhile, 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.

“My Administration will seek any and all Federal financial assistance and support to help Maine people recover from the storm,” Governor Mills said.

The Governor will continue to evaluate the necessity of the State of Emergency daily with the goal of terminating it when she deems it is no longer needed.

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 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 filed with the Secretary of State.