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Recovery Continues Across New England After Storm

Several days after a powerful storm tore through New England bringing severe wind and flooding damage, recovery is now getting into full swing. Damage from wind and particularly flooding is extensive and will likely be a weeks to months long process to pick up the pieces. Here are the latest developments.


Power outages currently sit at about 47,500 as of 11am. This number is down from a peak of about 743,000 Monday evening. Restoration to a "vast majority" of customers is expected to be completed by Saturday night. Only remote areas and severely flooded areas in Maine will likely take longer. New England's five other states have completed restoration.



Power crews from across the country and Canada have descended upon Maine to help with restoration efforts. The University of Maine in Farmington is housing over 100 of these crew members in the school's gym. The American Legion is providing meals for linemen. In the wake of the outages, at least 16 possible carbon monoxide poisoning cases have been identified in Maine, thankfully, all cases have been non-fatal.



As of Friday morning, five river gauges in New England remain at flood stage. All five are in Massachusetts and Connecticut. The Connecticut River in Middle Haddam remains at moderate flood stage, but should drop from that status by Friday afternoon. At its peak, over 50 river gauges reached flood stage across all six New England States.


River gauges still in flood stage as of 10:30am Friday:


Over the following days, at least a dozen river gauges would reach major flood stage. Several rivers, mostlly in Maine and New Hampshire, saw a top five highest crest. The Kennebec River at Hallowell, the Piscataquis River at Blanchard and the Swift River at Roxbury set new all-time highs.


This led to one of the worst floods in Maine's history. The United States Geographical Survey has been on the ground surveying the flooding. They concluded this flood was likely the second worst flooding event in the state's history. This has led to extensive damage that will, in all likelihood, cost hundreds of millions of dollars.


Photo credits: NECN, Billian Moments Photography


With flood waters receding, the damage is becoming more clear. With that, Maine residents have been asked to begin to document and submit storm damage to the state. This is the next step in securing a federal disaster declaration and FEMA aid. Maine is currently under a state of emergency. Rhode Island also declared a disaster emergency this week.



In Maine alone, over 100 roads and nearly 36 bridges were closed due to wind damage or flooding shortly after the storm. As of Thursday evening, 41 roads 18 bridges remained closed in the state. Significant road damage occurred across the state, as well as into New Hampshire, where Route 302 has been shut down for several days.


Road damage in Newry, Maine


During the week, evacuation orders occurred in multiple Maine towns and cities including Casco, Naples, Auburn, Lewiston, Lisbon, Augusta, Brownville and Fairfield. Moretown, Vermont also saw an evacuation. All these evacuation orders have since been lifted. Numerous water rescues happened across New England on Monday and Tuesday.


The death toll from this storm in New England has risen to five throughout this week, with four of them occurring in Maine. These tragedies occurred from both wind damage and flooding.


Ski resorts across New England took a beating during the storm from flood damage, wind damage and massive snowpack loss amid record high temperatures and pounding rain. Ski Resorts forced to close include Cranmore, Attitash Mountain Resort, Loon Mountain, Wildcat Mountain, Waterville Valley Resort, Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Pleasant Mountain, Lost Valley and Saddleback Mountain. All these resorts have either reopened, or plan to reopen this weekend. Some, like Sunday River, are reopening on a limited basis this weekend.




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