Today’s rain caused flooding in areas all across central Maine. There were several spots along Madison Avenue and other parts of Route 201 in Skowhegan where people were navigating around and through deep, standing water.
Greg Dore, the head of Skowhegan’s Highway Department, tells us more than a dozen cars stalled after trying to drive through some of the flooded areas this morning.
Dore says the ice storm from Christmas week caused significant icing in the town’s catch basins where the water typically drains.
Crews spent most of the day Monday trying to break through that ice so the standing water could drain.
“Right now the South Channel Bridge which is right on 201, there’s probably, the curb is 4 inches high and it’s over the curb so there’s about 4 inches of water going all the way across 201 right now. It’s treacherous out there and it’s a real challenge to try to take care of all the problems at one time,” Dore said.
After a busy start to the winter, the town is now running dangerously low on road salt.
“I’ve had problems in the past to get salt, but I’ve always had a good stockpile,” Dore said. “We have 10 loads on backorder from before Christmas. I’m just about out of salt right now and getting a little nervous because we’re gonna need it tonight. But the salt company assured me we’d have some loads by today. Hopefully that’ll be here because we’re gonna need it.”
But things could get a whole lot worse before they get better. Maine officials are warning residents to take caution on the roads as dropping temperatures turn standing water into ice.
The National Weather Service says about 1 inch of rain fell throughout Maine on Monday with temperatures reaching 50 degrees in some places. But most of the state will see temperatures drop into the single digits or teens Monday night. The cold air is expected to hang around until Friday.
Ted Talbot, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Transportation, says it is urging residents to be on the lookout for ice, especially at low-lying intersections and bridges. He says some highway ramps have seen minor to moderate flooding Monday.
Maine utilities are reporting more than 6,000 outages as strong winds and rain brought down trees and power lines.
(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report)