Emergency management agency officials were breathing a sigh of relief Thursday as heavy rains eased with rivers remaining within their banks.

“It may not dry out until August,” said Dan Schorr early Thursday afternoon, but “we dodged a bullet” in terms of flooding.

Schorr heads up Oxford County’s EMA. His counterparts in Franklin and Androscoggin counties were equally upbeat. Nowhere in the central and western regions of Maine did the rainfall cause floods.

Things were different elsewhere in the state. Some merchants in Hallowell, for example, cleared out their cellar storage areas as the Kennebec River threatened to burst its banks.

And in the fabled North Maine Woods, access to dozens of private logging roads was curtailed due to overflowing streams and related excessive mud conditions. There, said emergency agency officials, as much as 5 inches of rain fell during the past few days.

The 2.3 inches that was recorded in Bangor on Thursday set a one-day record, eclipsing the 1.18 inches that fell in 1973, according to the National Weather Service.

And the storm total topped 6 inches in some coastal communities. West Rockport logged nearly 6.5 inches, the weather service said.

In the Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin county area, rainfall was in the 2- to 3-inch range.

At noon on Thursday the Androscoggin River in Auburn was nearing the 12-foot mark, said Joanne Potvin, the EMA director there. Flooding happens when the river reaches the 13-foot mark. With the bulk of the rain over and the likelihood of no more than a half-inch coming over the weekend, flood watches were being canceled.

“We’re very grateful. We will have no flooding,” Potvin said.

Tim Hardy, Franklin County’s EMA director, said the story there was much the same.

“We haven’t had any reports of flooding,” he said at noon. Hardy said he planned to make a tour of the region anyway, just to see for himself, but but added, “We’re in pretty good shape.”

Hardy said he had heard no reports of cellars being flooded, either. Potvin said that with the ground thawing from winter’s frost, it has more ability to absorb the recent moisture than earlier in the month.

“We stay high and dry,” she said.


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