Governor LePage Urges Mainers to Stay Safe After Flooding, Power Outages from Powerful Storm
August 14, 2014
AUGUSTA – With record rainfall in Portland, thousands of Mainers without power and widespread flooding of roads due to powerful thunderstorms, Governor Paul R. LePage is urging Mainers to stay safe and praising the response of public safety agencies.
“The thunderstorms came down hard, the flood waters rose fast and many lost power,” Governor LePage said. “The rain has stopped, the waters have receded and power is being restored. Damage reports so far have been minimal, but we are urging Mainers to stay safe and take all precautions when dealing with flooded basements and roads, as well as any downed power lines.”
The Governor has cleared his schedule for Thursday so he can keep informed of any areas that have been hard hit and provide the necessary response.
“Local police, fire and emergency agencies in the larger municipalities have done a terrific job responding to this quick-moving and powerful storm,” Governor LePage said. “The Maine Emergency Management Agency has monitored the situation statewide, and we are prepared to use whatever state resources are needed to assist Mainers in need.”
The flooding of roads and low-lying areas overnight left about 6,500 Mainers without power. Portland got more than six inches of rain, with more than four inches falling in just two hours Wednesday night—breaking the previous record rainfall set in 2004.
Many roads were closed due to the rising water, and there were some minor precautionary evacuations, but most roads are back open this morning. Local police and fire officials were able to stay on top of the situation, and the Maine Emergency Management Agency received no calls from county or local EMA offices. Intermittent showers are expected throughout the day today.
Severe Thunderstorm Safety Tips
If you are in an area being hit by a severe storm:
Take shelter in a secure building if possible
NWS: Lightning Safety page
If driving, pull over if heavy rainfall makes it difficult to see
Observe any roadway barricades and markers; find another way around. Two feet of moving water will sweep away a car, even a pickup or SUV. Under the water, a flooded roadway may be totally washed away.
Stay well away from rushing streams, and even deep drainage ditches. Especially keep children and pets away from these areas. As little as 6 inches of moving water can sweep an adult off his or her feet.
Maine Prepares/NWS: Turn Around, Don't Drown
As the storm moves away, crews are making good progress to clear downed lines and restore power.
The Maine Emergency Management Agency is asking Mainers to respect all emergency crews working to clear debris, trim trees, and restore power in the wake of this storm. Staying out of the way will allow these crews to get their important work done as quickly as possible.
Report all downed lines or outages to your electric utility. Also call them to learn the status of restoration efforts.
•Central Maine Power: 800-696-1000
•Emera Maine (formerly Bangor Hydro): 855-EMERA-11
For more information
Road conditions: DOT's 511 Travel Information Service
National Weather Service Gray
National Weather Service Caribou
National Hurricane Center
Maine Prepares: Portal to weather forecasts and preparedness and safety information for all hazards