AUBURN — Residents living close to the Androscoggin River in the Twin Cities might find their backyards submerged in the coming days.

Margaret Curtis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, said Sunday the river was expected to crest at 17.3 feet sometime Monday morning. That’s more than four feet above the river’s flood stage of 13 feet.

Curtis said the river rose more than five feet in just two hours Sunday afternoon. The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Androscoggin River near Auburn until Wednesday morning.

Dozens of local residents awoke Sunday morning to more than just soggy lawns and rain. Much of the region saw between 5 and 7 inches of rainfall from Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning, with more rain expected throughout the day.

Capt. Chip Keene of the Auburn Fire Department said the department’s trucks ran pretty steady all day Sunday with most responses being to homes with flooded basements. The department has eight pumps it uses to assist residents in draining their basements. Keene said at one point Sunday afternoon there was actually a waiting list of residents needing help pumping out varying amounts of water.

“We went to places where people haven’t had water in their basements for years and years, but they had water today,” Keene said.

Locally, Durham reported 6.7 inches of rain as of Sunday evening, while Lewiston reported 6.2 inches and Bath reported the highest total with 7.5 inches. Just under 6 inches fell in numerous other towns and cities in southern and central Maine, with the highest amounts in Portland, Auburn, Windham, Cumberland and Westbrook.

Portland received a record 3.63 inches of rain on Saturday, the fourth-wettest day recorded in June in 141 years of record-keeping. As of Sunday evening, rainfall totals for the weekend amounted to 5.57 inches at the Portland International Jetport.

State and local transportation officials said numerous roads were closed or impassable because of standing water. Dispatchers in Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties said several roads were covered with standing water or completely washed out. A bridge between Bethel and Gilead on North Road was also damaged, according to a dispatcher with the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office.

Transportation officials were also keeping close watch Sunday night on a Route 121 bridge in Oxford due to rising waters.

Flash flooding was reported Saturday night into Sunday morning in several local towns, including Buckfield, due to the heavy rainfall.

Central Maine Power estimates that the number of outages peaked at 3,000 Saturday afternoon, according to Gail Rice, public affairs analyst for Central Maine Power. Most outages had been repaired as of Sunday night, accoring to CMP.

“We got so much rain we just couldn’t handle it,” said Tom Fallon of Rumford, who awoke to water in his basement Sunday.

Sunday’s rain led to cancellation of several events, including a block party in Sabattus and the 50-mile Women’s Ride sponsored by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the number of homes that had lost power in the storm. Central Maine Power reports that an estimated 3,000 people lost power Saturday afternoon.


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