RUMFORD — Flooding in several towns across Western Maine, including Canton, Rangeley and New Sharon, closed roads Wednesday.

It wasn’t unusual for this time of year, Teresa Glick, deputy director of the Oxford County Emergency Management Agency in Paris, said Wednesday morning.

She said small rivers and streams would soon be cresting and receding if they hadn’t already.

The Androscoggin River was within a foot or two of Route 2 in places in Dixfield. But it was expected to crest at 16.8 feet by early Wednesday afternoon in Rumford, said Tom Hawley, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Gray.

The Androscoggin River in Auburn was at 16.5 feet by 12:30 p.m. Wednesday and not expected to crest until early Wednesday evening.

The Ellis River in South Andover reached 17.19 feet on Wednesday morning before starting to recede, according to a weather service bulletin. Its flood stage is 16 feet.


Andover topped the rainfall charts with 3 inches, while Lewiston recorded just over 2 inches and west Bethel had nearly 2 inches, according to the weather service. Five inches fell in Pittsburg, N.H.

Glick and Hawley said that had temperatures not fallen early Wednesday morning, changing the rain to snow, the flooding would have been worse. Three to 5 inches of snow fell in the mountains, Hawley said.

“It did help, although nobody wanted to see it,” he said.

Roads that were closed Wednesday morning included:

* Andover — Andover Road west of Andover.

* Bethel — Meadowbrook Bridge Road, Flat Road, Walkers Mills Road (Route 26) near Davis Park, Parkway, Railroad Street, Intervale Road. Route 232 near Gore Road had water over the road. Drivers were urged to use caution while crossing it.


* Canton — Canton Point Road on both ends in Dixfield and Canton, and the Route 140 bridge between Routes 4 and 108.

* Gilead — North Road is closed to one lane.

* Fryeburg — River Road.

* Lisbon – 136 between State Route 9 and Swap Road.

* Newry — Route 2 between Routes 26 and 5.

* Roxbury — Route 120 by the old satellite station.


* Rumford — Route 232, Andover Road in the area of Howe Bridge, East Andover Road, Route 120 by the old satellite station, Whippoorwill Road, and Route 5 at the fire pond.

* Woodstock — Farnum Road, Perkins Valley Road and Gore Road.

All three Woodstock roads were reopened by midafternoon Wednesday, according to the fire chief, but only one lane of Perkins Valley Road was opened. Damage on that road is expected to be repaired Thursday.

Additionally, the Route 26 end of Route 232 is open, but 232 is still closed farther north.

Glick said water was over Route 113 near the New Hampshire line and flooding between the south intersection with U.S. Route 302 and State Route 113B near Fryeburg.

The only road closed in Norway except to local traffic, that Glick was aware of, is the dirt Roberts Road. But that’s due to muddy conditions, not flooding, she said.


Route 17 in Byron was reopened on Wednesday morning.

“We have barricaded off the washed-out shoulder and plan to fill it in with gravel tomorrow,” said Mark Hume, regional projects manager with the Maine Department of Transportation.

In Franklin County, South Shore Drive near Rangeley in Rangeley Plantation was closed, and Route 41 in New Sharon was closed by Crowell Pond near Farmington Falls between Routes 2 and 134, said Tim Hardy, director of the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency.

George Thomas Road between Chesterville and New Sharon was closed, but Front Street in Farmington, West Kingfield Road in Kingfield and Colver Mill Road in Farmington beside Temple Stream were open by Wednesday afternoon, Hardy said.

Sandy River appeared to be receding slowly, cresting by 11 a.m. Wednesday. Hardy said. Wind, dropping temperature and precipitation changeover all helped reduce flooding, he said.

“We lucked out,” he said in talking about the lack of ice jams on the Sandy River this spring. “Over night last Friday night into Saturday morning, it cleared itself out pretty good.”


However, at Lake Auburn in Auburn, Mary Jane Dillingham believed the lake was still making ice Wednesday in the cold temperatures. Dillingham is the water quality manager for the Lewiston Water Division and the Auburn Water District.

“We don’t dare go out on it” to check, she said. “I can’t tell you how thick the ice is. But we went out on the fourth (of April) and there were 30 inches about 100 feet offshore. The bottom 15 inches was all hard ice, but the top wasn’t. I think we’re making ice right now, though, and I thought it was going out.”

Lake Auburn’s dam in East Auburn releases spring runoff into Bobbin Mill Brook, which empties into the Androscoggin River. However, Dillingham said she didn’t think those releases affect the river’s level much, and certainly not this year, what with all that ice.

“There are parts of it on the edges that have opened up, but not much,” she said.

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