Kennebec River floodwaters push aside the docks May 2 at the Gardiner Landing following severe rainfall that caused flooding across the region. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

Kennebec County saw the largest share of damage to public infrastructure from the severe rainfall and flooding that began in late April, accounting for $580,631 of the nearly $3 million in estimated damage statewide.

Gov. Janet Mills cited the figures in a recent request for President Joe Biden to issue a major disaster declaration for the county in which she lives, plus seven other counties in Maine that were severely impacted by the storm.

The federal disaster declaration would help the counties secure funding to address damages to roads and bridges, clear debris and install protective measures.

“It has been verified that all of the damaged infrastructure included in the validation process is not eligible for commercially available insurance coverage, and, therefore, all repair costs must be covered by local government taxpayers if Federal assistance is not obtained,” Mills wrote in the letter. “Due to the widespread nature and extent of infrastructure damages, State resources are not adequate to meet local recovery needs.”

Kennebec County joined Franklin, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Sagadahoc, Somerset and Waldo counties in exceeding the threshold of damage to qualify for a major disaster declaration. Somerset County had $320,961 in damages validated, while Franklin County had $318,932.

Androscoggin County, which logged $360,454 in damages, did not meet the threshold, but Mills has requested it be included in the state’s overall total.


The estimates were validated recently by Federal Emergency Management Agency officials, following preliminary assessments in May.

Ongoing flooding was responsible for most of the damage across Maine. On April 30 and May 1, heavy rain and wind gusts up to 65 mph caused rivers to swell and trees to fall.

The Maine State Emergency Operations Center reported 141 road closures due to flooding, washouts, downed wires and collapsed culverts. A total of 32,557 households and businesses lost power.

If approved by the president, the disaster declaration would unlock grant funding from FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, which supports responses and recovery efforts following emergencies. Such approval would also green light the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which helps governments rebuild and develop plans to reduce the risk of future losses.

The Maine Department of Transportation has applied separately for disaster relief from the Federal Highway Administration for the estimated $2.5 million in damage to interstates from the late-April storm.

State officials said Maine did not meet the threshold to qualify for individual assistance for homeowners.

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