Three highways between Maine, New Hampshire washed out

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BETHEL (AP) – Heavy rains washed out three highways between Maine and New Hampshire, creating headaches for motorists Thursday morning and bringing to mind the old saying, “You can’t get there from here.”

It was no joke for travelers following the closing of U.S. 2 in Gilead, Route 26 in Grafton Notch and Route 113 in Evans Notch, all important highways for Mainers trying to get to New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

The problem was heavy rain Wednesday that stretched from Vermont to western Maine, said George Wiseman of the National Weather Service in Maine.

At one point, there was a flood warning posted Wednesday night for Oxford County. Andover, which is in the region that saw the heaviest rainfall, reported 3.48 inches of rain during the period, according to the National Weather Service.

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On U.S. 2, a drainage pipe on the Maine side washed out, cutting off that route. It was reopened around noon on Thursday.

In Newry, Route 26 was closed because of a washout on the stretch of highway that approaches to the bridge over Great Brook in Grafton Notch. Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Ron Burns said the department hoped to have the highway opened Thursday evening.

And Route 113 from Gilead through Evans Notch to the New Hampshire border is closed because of bridge damage and multiple landslides.

It was unclear how long it would take to fix Route 113, where a 40-foot bridge was washed out, officials said.

AP-ES-07-12-07 1400EDT

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