Maine coast braces for flooding as high tide and nor’easter converge

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At almost high tide, the surf in Camp Ellis surges over the sea wall onto Main and North streets during Friday’s winter storm. (Carl D. Walsh/Portland Press Herald)

A powerful storm sweeping up the East Coast is expected to cause extensive coastal flooding in southern Maine starting late Friday morning.

A storm surge will add two to three feet to the midday high tide, prompting coastal police departments to warn residents about restricted travel. High tide in Portland is 11:07 a.m. and sections of the commercial waterfront and Marginal Way are expected to be submerged shortly after the morning rush hour.

The storm brought snow and freezing rain to southernmost Maine early Friday, while heavy rains and strong winds are expected through the day along the entire Maine coast.

With coastal flooding the primary concern, authorities are warning about the dangers of driving through standing water.

The Kennebunkport Police Department posted a warning on its Facebook page urging motorists to not drive through areas with standing water.

“Big ocean storm coming…. Please be aware that we will also experience unusual high tides during Friday (11 am and 11 pm ish)!! We will probably need to close the usual roads during high tide (Ocean Ave., Pier Road, Dyke Road) and a few others. We will be using barricades and cones to stop traffic. DO NOT go around these items nor should you drive through large areas of standing water. It is a violation to ignore these traffic control devices. Please be smart, plan ahead and use caution during the storm.”

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