AUGUSTA — As estimates of the destruction from the Dec. 18 storm continue to be tallied, officials say damage to public infrastructure has topped $1 million in Kennebec County.

Sean Goodwin, acting director of the Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency, said when the paperwork is filed later this month, the county estimate could reach $1.6 million.

The Kennebec River floods the parking lot of the Hathaway Creative Center on Water Street in Waterville on Dec. 19, following a historic storm that dumped several inches of rain across the region. State and federal agencies are assessing the financial impact from last month’s storm. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

This tally comes as representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have arrived in Maine and, with Maine Emergency Management representatives, are reviewing and validating damage assessments compiled by county emergency management staff from the powerful storm that left thousands in the dark and caused the Kennebec River to breach its banks in Somerset and Kennebec counties.

Vanessa Corson, public information officer for MEMA, said Wednesday that damage estimates for all areas in the state are not yet available.

“FEMA is in Maine this week to help validate damage numbers for public assistance and individual assistance,” Corson said via email.

Officials in Franklin and Oxford counties say combined early damage estimates in their counties near $9 million, including more than $3 million in Rumford alone.


According to Rachael Leighton, secretary for the Local Emergency Planning Committee, Oxford County EMA director Allyson Hill was out in the field with FEMA officials checking the damage Wednesday. Preliminary figures exclusively for public facilities and infrastructure peg the damage at more than $5.7 million countywide.

Rumford sustained the most damage in the county, at more than $3 million of public damage. Gould Academy in Bethel, considered a private entity, had more than $1 million in damage, largely stemming from damage to a training facility at Sunday River from a mudslide.

Franklin County was also hard hit in the December storm. According to county EMA Director Amanda Simoneau, preliminary figures topped $3.09 million. Staff are working to validate the damage.

If the agencies agree that the costs of addressing storm damage are more than the state can address with its own resources, Gov. Janet Mills is expected to request a major disaster declaration from President Biden that would unlock funding for restoration efforts.

Damage reports for homes and businesses — individual assistance — are still being compiled and will be collected throughout January.

“We have a number of requests for assistance, but that’s a little harder to figure out because of homeowners’ insurance and things like that,” Goodwin said. “MEMA and FEMA and our people are out there today doing some of those investigations now.”


The flooded Kennebec River laps at the Two Cent Bridge at Head of Falls Park in Waterville on Dec. 19. The walking bridge which connects Winslow with Waterville was closed due to the flood, State and federal agencies are assessing the financial impact from last month’s storm. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

Throughout the Kennebec River valley, a lot of personal damage is being tallied in the wake of the flood, as water filled parking lots, some with cars still parked in them and flooded both businesses and residences.

As emergency management officials are measuring the damage, cleanup efforts are underway, including fuel spills in Waterville, Winslow, Augusta, Hallowell and Gardiner, he said.

“We had some issues in Augusta with floating propane tanks,” he said.

Last week, FEMA approved a request from MEMA to start a preliminary damage assessment, which is the first formal step in seeking a federal disaster declaration.

The Mills administration has set up the Maine Flood Resources and Assistance Hub as a central location for information, resources and help for those affected by the flood. It can be found at

Androscoggin County officials were not able to be reached Wednesday afternoon.

Sun Journal staff writers Steve Sherlock and Donna Perry contributed to this report.

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