The powerful wind and rainstorm that swept through Maine on Monday left two people missing in Mexico on Tuesday, hundreds of thousands without power and evacuations in areas of Lewiston and Auburn where the Androscoggin River was expected to reach a “record level” by noon Wednesday.

Police and game wardens searched Tuesday for two people swept into the Swift River in Mexico after the car they were in tried to cross the Red Bridge into Rumford. According to the Mexico Police Department, just before 5 p.m. Monday a vehicle with four people inside was traveling on Route 2 when the driver tried to cross the bridge. Unable to, the driver was attempting to turn around when the vehicle was swept into the river.

Three people were able to get out of the car; two of them were rescued and taken to Rumford Hospital where they were treated for hypothermia, police said. The third person, along with the fourth person who was last seen still in the car, remain missing.

The Maine Warden Service and Maine State Police were assisting Mexico police with the search, but as of 4:50 p.m., a state police spokesperson said the search yielded no results.


The National Weather Service said the river was expected to crest Tuesday at just under major flood stage.


Newry in western Oxford County topped Maine’s rainfall charts with 7.6 inches, according to the National Weather Service office in Gray. The highest total in Franklin County was Kingfield with over 6 inches; in Androscoggin County, it was Auburn with just shy of 5 inches; in Cumberland County it was Bridgton with over 5 inches.

In Newry, Mayville Road to Sunday River was flooded and a large section of Sunday River Road was washed out and impassable by car, stranding people at the ski resort, including guests at the Grand Summit Hotel. A number of roads leading to condos at the mountain are also impassable as roads have crumbled under washouts.

A pickup truck is stranded Tuesday on the Sunday Rover access road after Monday’s heavy rainstorm. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

An image posted to the Sunday River Enthusiasts Facebook page shows a pickup truck that attempted to drive past the Sunday River Road washout tipped into and alongside what looks like several feet of water.

Four people on Route 232 in Rumford were rescued Tuesday evening when their vehicles entered floodwaters, the Oxford County Regional Communications Center confirmed. First responder alerts reported the incident around 5:42 p.m. and the last of the occupants, a person who escaped to the roof of their car, was rescued by 5:50 p.m.

Across the state, CMP reported that of 313,777 customers without power Tuesday morning, 249,083 were still out about 6:15 p.m. The power company serves 673,950 customers.

CMP issued a statement Tuesday saying work to restore power could last through the weekend for some areas, depending on when the damage can be assessed.


State offices were supposed to open at noon Tuesday, but early in the day Gov. Janet Mills announced all offices would remain closed for the day.

She said her administration “remains in close contact with Maine’s county emergency management agencies and with our electric utilities. We are expecting a multi-day recovery effort at this point, and, for now, we continue to strongly encourage people, especially those in more heavily impacted areas, to stay off the roads to give crews the space they need to clear debris and restore power as quickly as possible.”

Emergency management directors across the state are warning drivers to stay home and asking people not to move safety cones or barricades to access flooded roads.

Rivers around Farmington overflowed their banks overnight Monday, soaking streets and turning this college town into an island.

Franklin County Emergency Management Director Amanda Simoneau said Tuesday night that Farmington roads have mostly become passable, except for any bridges closed off, which will need to be inspected before being reopened.

Farmington Falls was not evacuated as officials originally feared, Simoneau said, but officials did go door to door recommending residents leave the area.


Sugarloaf Communications Manager Charli Sayward said Tuesday that the resort closed ski and ride operations for the day to assess the storm’s impact, which damaged roads and infrastructure on the mountain and around the campus.

“It’s been an interesting 36 hours to say the least but given the circumstances, Sugarloaf is faring well,” Sayward said.

Franklin County Emergency Management posted around 2:20 p.m. Tuesday that Route 27 between Kingfield and Carrabassett is still undergoing work.

“If you see road closed signs, please abide by them and find an alternate route,” the post read. “The entire community and state are still picking up the pieces of this weather event, please be patient with us as we do our best to get out accurate road closure information as it is always changing and is one of our many priorities at this time.”

Franklin County announced the Reeds Mills Road bridge crossing Orbeton Stream in Madrid will close Wednesday and motorists will need to find alternative routes. A temporary bridge will be installed so traffic can resume.

For more on Franklin County road closures, visit the county’s emergency management’s Google map.


Rangeley Fire Rescue’s post on Facebook at 3:06 p.m. said the Maine Department of Transportation opened Route 4 past the bridge in Sandy River Plantation.

Eustis Fire Department posted that assistance is available for residents in need. The post said three department members stayed at the station Monday night to take calls.

“We are technically an island with one road leading to Canada,” the post read.

In some areas, people were trapped in cars awaiting rescue.

In Auburn, a driver stranded in rising Androscoggin River waters on River Road was rescued by the Fire Department just before 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Bruce Ritchie said his house on North River Road in Auburn was surrounded by water when he woke up at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. “I am on my third pair of boots this morning,” said Ritchie, who lives in the house with his wife, two dogs and seven cats. “My wife said first this morning that she needed to make a cup of coffee before dealing with the mess. I told her that if she did that, she would not be getting out as the water was just pouring into the basement.” Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Later in the morning, Goin’ Postal on North River Road in Auburn appeared flooded as water crept toward Center Street, threatening to flood the four-lane road.

The Androscoggin Historical Society sustained damage to its headquarters at 93 Lisbon St. location in Lewiston, as well as damage to several artifacts.

“We think, with some emergency conservation and professional repairs the artifacts that were damaged will make it through,” a post on the historical society’s Facebook page read. “We have folks working on the roof and we are waiting for the assessment from the flood experts.”

The Historical Society set up a GoFundMe page to get a start on the necessary repairs and restorations.

Durham did not experience as much flooding as its neighbors to the north, but it didn’t come out of the storm unscathed.

“Route 136 is closed in spots and there are a lot of flooded side roads,” Selectman Joe Roy said, “but no evacuations.”

A lighted sign at the McDonald’s restaurant on Main Street in Farmington stands in feet of water due to rising river waters surrounding Farmington on Monday night. Submitted photo

Public works crews could be seen driving around assessing damage, as homeowners were clearing out flooded basements and collecting siding and roofing shingles ripped off their homes overnight.


Auburn and Lewiston school districts announced cancellations for all schools on Wednesday.

Lewiston Schools Superintendent Jake Langlais posted on Monday afternoon, when students were being sent home early, that pickup areas at Lewiston Middle School would shift due to heavy equipment on the roof of the school hanging dangerously close to the edge. Minutes after shifting the pickup areas, the air intake shroud came crashing down where students surely would have been waiting for their rides.

“Great job LMS team!” Langlais said in a Tweet attached to a video of the incident. “Someone could have been seriously injured or killed.”

Shelters throughout Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties include: Mountain Valley High School at 799 Hancock St. in Rumford; the Ramada Inn at 490 Pleasant St. in Lewiston; and Cape Cod Hill School at 516 Cape Cod Hill Road in New Sharon.

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