RUMFORD – Heavy rains and a New Hampshire dam release on Tuesday sent the Androscoggin River up to within a few feet of roadways in Dixfield, Canton and Jay by early afternoon.

Elsewhere, small streams and brooks flooded low-lying areas in Franklin and Oxford counties, threatening nearby roads.

By late afternoon, 5 inches of rain had fallen in Brunswick, 4 in Bath and Lisbon Falls, and from 1 to 3 inches across Western Maine, according to the National Weather Service in Gray.

The Shelburne Dam on the Androscoggin at Shelburne, N.H., was at Stage II on Tuesday, meaning it was releasing 10,000 cubic feet per second, or about 75,000 gallons a second, according to the Oxford County Emergency Management Agency in Paris.

Emergency responders downriver were notified accordingly, assistant EMA Director Teresa Inman said by phone Tuesday in Paris.

“We expect the rivers to rise overnight and we expect road conditions to get worse,” Inman said. “The Shelburne Dam’s increased flow affects all of us downstream. … We’ve got surplus sandbags if people need them. We just want everyone to be safe and dry.”

Minor flooding was predicted by the National Weather Service in Gray for the Androscoggin and Kennebec rivers, along the Swift in Roxbury and the Sandy River in Mercer. Flood warnings were up Tuesday through Wednesday for all four rivers as well as the Saco River near Conway, N.H.

In Rumford, the Androscoggin is expected to top its 15-foot flood stage by about a foot on Wednesday afternoon before receding. In Auburn, the river is expected to top its 13-foot flood stage by just over a foot on Thursday.

The Kennebec River is expected to rise nearly 5 feet above its 17-foot flood stage by Wednesday morning.

Some roads in Oxford County were also flooded.

According to Maine Department of Transportation advisories, rising water had covered Route 118 near its intersection with Route 37 in East Waterford Tuesday afternoon. The same road between routes 117 and 26 at the Waterford/Norway town line was underwater but passable.

Barricades were up, however, below Kingfield in New Portland where Route 146 flooded between routes 16 and 27.

The Saco had caused minor flooding in Fryeburg and Conway, N.H., according to Oxford County Emergency Management Agency assistant Director Teresa Inman.

Franklin County EMA Director Tim Hardy said by phone that he’d been checking area roads all day Tuesday but had yet to find any problems.

“Small streams are rising,” he said, “but if the rain continues later on this evening, we may see some problems develop.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.