WILTON — A home is in jeopardy after heavy rain this week eroded the bank behind it.

Raymond Wiers, who lives at 1405 Main Street near LifeMade Consumer Products, said Wednesday morning, Sept. 20, he could hear water rushing Monday night into Tuesday during the most recent rain storm, but couldn’t see anything.

“It was a hard rain,” he noted.

As seen looking out from the carport Wednesday morning, Sept. 20, heavy rains Monday night into Tuesday led to significant erosion behind the home of Raymond Wiers at 1405 Main Street in Wilton. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

It wasn’t until after daylight Tuesday that Wiers was able to see the damage.

There used to be 35 or 40 feet of land behind the house before reaching Wilson Stream, Wiers said. “At least 75 yards lengthwise, the full length maybe length and a half of a telephone pole washed away in back of the house right to the foundation,” he stated.

Wiers is 93 years old, is a Korean War veteran.


The dwelling consists of the home and an attached two-car garage which opens into an enclosed carport.

Water unable to flow through a culvert makes its way over Mill Street Tuesday, Sept. 19, in Wilton. Sometime during the night Monday the water went through the garage and carport of Raymond Wiers’ home at left and eroded the bank behind the home. Russell Black

Senator Russell Black from Wilton met with The Franklin Journal to review the damage. He visited the home Tuesday. A culvert near 1386 Main Street across the road was completely plugged, Black noted. A huge cement culvert by the LifeMade Consumer Products facility [formerly Forsters] was partially blocked, only a bit of water could get through one near Mill Street and a storm drain near Wiers’ property was covered with leaves and other debris, he stated.

“The water was more than four inches deep in the carport, you can see it by the amount of pine needles against the front of it,” Black said Wednesday while showing what had happened. That apple tree had been on the bank, an ash tree washed away, he pointed out.

Senator Russell Black Wednesday morning, Sept. 20, explains how water flowed around the brick flagpole at 1386 Main Street in Wilton sometime during the night Monday into Tuesday. Pine needles remain at the left while a high water mark is visible on the fire hydrant, he said. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Water pooled near 1386 Main Street, left a line of pine needles around the bricked-in flagpole when it receded, Black said. There are marks on the fire hydrant indicating how high the water was, he noted.

“When the town highway crew got here yesterday and looked it over, it was discovered the culverts were plugged so the water came down the road,” Black said. “The only reason it went through the garage and carport is because of the culverts.”

The culverts were so overgrown, they weren’t easily visible until closer looks were taken, Black said.


This screenshot shows the unnamed stream that crosses Main Street in Wilton. A plugged culvert next to Mill Street is believed to be part of the reason water flowed into the garage and carport owned by Raymond Wiers sometime during the night Monday, Sept. 18, and eroded the bank behind his house which is across from Mill Street. Google maps

This storm produced three and half to four inches of water over more than 24 hours, wasn’t like the Jay storm when there was six to eight inches in a few hours, Black said. There shouldn’t have been a problem, he noted.

Because the water couldn’t get through the culverts it washed the bank out, he stated. “The bank wasn’t designed to handle that kind of water,” he said.

Wiers said representatives from the state visited on Tuesday, took aerial photos with a drone.

Google maps shows a small stream originating above Pleasant Street which opens into a larger body of water near the LifeMade Consumer Products facility before becoming a stream again. It continues downhill to cross Main Street and empty into Wilson Stream.

Officials in the Wilton Town Office Wednesday determined both water sources are unnamed. They also noted the state is responsible for the culverts near Main Street.

“I realize you can have an act of God,” Black said. When two culverts are plugged, it can be seen how the water crossed the road because the culverts are plugged solid, that is different, he noted.


Black said he has been in touch with Maine’s Department of Transportation, hopes to meet to find a path forward. An email from DOT indicated the situation was being looked into, he noted.

The state shouldn’t be liable for everything, but when something is caused by the state’s inaction, it should do something to help, Black said.

“We shall see,” he noted. “I think the state is liable.”

“We had staff on site today,” Paul Merrill, MDOT director of communications wrote in an email to The Franklin Journal later Wednesday afternoon. “I’m not going to comment further until we know more information.” Merrill noted he would “try to reach back out when we have updates.”

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