WILTON — Sections of Route 133 between Jay and Wilton will remain closed for several weeks following severe flash flooding from a torrential thunderstorm Thursday evening.

Flooding was reported across the region as the storm dumped as much as 5 to 6 inches of rain in two hours, Amanda Simoneau, the director of Franklin County Emergency Management Agency, said.

“It was pretty dramatic damage,” Paul Merrill, public information officer for Maine Department of Transportation, said. “I talked to people who (have) lived around here for years, and they said they had never seen what we experienced yesterday.”

The section of Route 133 that intersects with U.S. Route 2 near Franklin Memorial Hospital is expected to reopen and be passable in a matter of days, perhaps as soon as Saturday, Merrill said.

But about two miles south of the Route 2 intersection, Route 133  is facing significant damage that will take weeks to rectify.

“We think it will be closed for several weeks by the time crews and contractors can actually rebuild that and get it fixed and be safe for travel,” Merrill added.


The Androscoggin River did not flood, Merrill said, but the small creeks and streams could not handle all of the water.

While damage happened in several areas of Franklin County, the worst occurred near Route 156 and Route 133 in the Jay and Wilton area, where roads and driveways washed away, shoulders collapsed, and culverts could not handle the onslaught of water.

An image shot from a drone shows damage to Route 156 in Jay after a storm wreaked havoc across the region Thursday. Maine DOT photo

Shoulder damage was visible along Route 4 in Jay, while a section of a hill near the Jay Fire Department washed away.

Repairs began Thursday night with Maine DOT crews and their contractors working together to fix the damage.

With the exception of Route 133, the remaining state roads are expected to reopen within a day or two, Merrill said. Those include Route 156 and Route 140 in Jay and Canton.

Residents who live on Route 133 all have access to their homes along the damaged roads, Merrill said.


In Jay, town officials spent Friday assessing the damage while road crews worked to repair it.

“There are several places where we lost entire sections of road and traffic cannot get through,” Jay Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said. “These include sections on Davenport Hill Road, Look Brooke, Macomber Hill Road (at the bottom of the hill near Route 4 and on the Plaisted Road end), Begin Road, Davis Road, Soules Hill Road, East Jay Road (Chesterville end), Canton Mountain Road, Hutchinson Road and Davenport Hill Road.”

LaFreniere also said several additional roads had washouts on one side, and many have had their shoulders disappear. She asked residents to watch for caution signs and traffic cones.

“We realize the inconvenience this causes our whole community, but we appreciate your patience as we work through this,” LaFreniere said. “It will not be a quick process, and many of the roads will not be fixed for an extended period. We are working with several contractors to help supplement our crew, but it will take time.”

“The Western Maine ATV Club has closed the trails from Jay to Farmington as they assess damages as well. There are significant washouts on the Whistlestop Trail that will likely shut that trail down for an extended period,” LaFreniere added.



Rescue crews were called Thursday night to the area of Davenport Hill Road in Jay for a report of floodwaters 4 feet deep across the roadway as the intense thunderstorm moved through the area.

Jay fire crews requested help from Swift Water Rescue and several area fire departments as they dealt with flooded houses and a variety of weather-related incidents. Four people were rescued from a vehicle trapped in floodwaters. No injuries were reported.

Near Bean’s Corner, at the intersection of routes 133 and 156 in Jay, several motorists were filmed trying to pass through flooded sections of road as the storm wrought havoc on commuter traffic. In that area, water was rushing down the roadway “like a river,” according to one man who recorded the scene.

Several people shot video of water rushing down the roadways in the area of Jay Hill. In some scenes, mailboxes were seen floating along in currents. Lawns, driveways and entire sections of the roadway were torn up by the rushing water.

One witness described traffic in that area, at Jay Hill and Route 4, as “an atrocious mess.”


In Chesterville, the fast-moving storm knocked out the town server, prompting an early closure Thursday of the town hall.

The strong thunderstorm moved from Canton northeast to Livermore Falls, Wilton, Jay and Farmington. The storm continued until around 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

How bad the storm hit depended largely on where a person was: some in Livermore Falls reported driving rain and flooding while those in other parts of town were spared.

A section of Route 4 between Livermore Falls and Turner was closed briefly due to water over the roadway.

Several people in the Farmington area reported getting flood alerts on their phones — until their internet connections went down shortly after.

In that town, Whittier Road, near the high school, was closed due to flooding as were a half dozen other locations around Franklin County.

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