GARDINER — Norma Layne baked a batch of brownies and some homemade bread for a crew manning the pumps for the past three days at the Gardiner Sportsmen’s Club.

The club on Cobbossee Stream was still under water Thursday because of heavy rain this past week.

Layne, of West Gardiner, a member of the club, said she can only remember the building flooding previously during the flood of ’87.

“The water’s going down a bit, but they’re still pumping,” she said Thursday. “They’ve got three pumps going and had to rescue the picnic tables with my kayak the other day. They’ve got a lot of water up there.”

She said volunteers slept at the club to keep watch on the pumps so water didn’t ruin the wall paneling.

Rick Hume, of Gardiner, a volunteer who has been spending nights at the club, said the water has started to recede.

“When I left this morning we probably had 2 inches to recede before it’s out of there,” Hume said. “We didn’t want the wall paneling damaged. That would have cost some money. We’ve been steadily pumping now for three days so it wouldn’t get too high. We’re expecting today to begin cleaning it up.”

Layne’s stepson and current club president, Tim Layne of Randolph, said the water rose about 4 inches in the club’s basement. Pumps from the new sprinkler system and furnace were removed so they wouldn’t get damaged, he said.

“We’ve had people down there 24 hours a day since Monday morning so we could try and salvage it,” Tim Layne said. “It was pretty close a couple of times, but we’ve been fortunate.”

He said they put a cooking stove in the basement onto a table and put the refrigerator on pallets to keep them from being damaged. The club’s picnic tables and docks were tied down so they wouldn’t float away.

“We’ve had a dedicated group throughout this whole thing,” he said. “Without them, we wouldn’t be in the condition we’re in. We owe a lot to them.”

Hooked on Fishing, a kids’ event scheduled for Saturday at the club, has been canceled because of the flooding.

Two bridges in downtown Gardiner had to be closed Tuesday because of high water on Cobbossee Stream. The Maine Department of Transportation, in anticipation of that afternoon’s high tide, closed the bridge on Maine Avenue near Harvey’s Hardware as well as the one on Bridge Street by Dennis’ Pizza in the downtown area.

The Gardiner Police Department on Tuesday also closed the arcade parking lot, which abuts the stream. The city planned to reopen the lot on Thursday if little or no water entered the lot at high tide.

Water in the Cobbossee Stream was so high that the water backed up and flooded several nearby ponds.

West Gardiner Fire Chief Chris McLaughlin said a resident on Horseshoe Pond became stranded when water rose over his driveway. Others in that area also experienced flooding, and some had at least a foot of water in their basements, he said.

“There are some residents in that same area who have water real close to their houses,” McLaughlin said Thursday. “It’s slowly dropping … yesterday 2 to 3 inches every 10 to 12 hours. Unless we get any more rain, the worst is over.”

Mechele Cooper — 621-5663

[email protected]


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