CARRABASSETT VALLEY — Tropical Storm Irene caused havoc across central Maine when it swept north in late August, including destroying two bridges on Route 27.

Heavy rain, wind and flooding during the Aug. 27 storm also knocked out power to more than 100,000 Central Maine Power customers throughout the region.

Loss of the two bridges made that portion of Route 27 inaccessible and cut off access to Sugarloaf Mountain.

Gov. Paul LePage inspected the damaged bridges, as well as flooded locations in Phillips and Rumford. The damage was also investigated by contractors and state road inspectors, who determined that support beams on the bridges became unstable because of soil erosion during severe storms, causing the collapse.

Contractors spent more than two months rebuilding the replacement bridges at a cost of $2.88 million.

The mountain and the bridges were scheduled to open the same day in November, but because of warm weather, ski season was pushed back. Emergency storm repairs and a fast-tracked contracting method was approved by LePage.

A federal disaster relief fund of $1 million was also approved for Maine for highway repairs and other damages.

A family from Canada was caught in the storm, and taken in by a local man after the family was turned away by an innkeeper because there was no power at the inn and it was in danger from a nearby stream.


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