Floodwaters from the confluence of the Androscoggin and Swift rivers inundate downtown Mexico on Tuesday morning, closing off a section of Route 2 into Rumford. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

MEXICO — Two people remained missing Tuesday night after the vehicle they were in was swept off the Red Bridge by floodwaters from the Swift River on Monday night, officials said.

Mexico police said that shortly before 5 p.m. Monday, a vehicle carrying four people was traveling Route 2 and the driver tried unsuccessfully to cross the Red Bridge into Rumford. As the driver tried to turn around the vehicle was swept into the river.

Three people were able to get out of the car; two of them were rescued and taken to Rumford Hospital where they were treated for hypothermia. The the third person, along with the fourth person who was last seen in the car, remain missing, Shannon Moss, public information officer for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Tuesday evening.

The Maine Warden Service and the Maine State Police are helping Mexico police with the search.

More than 5 inches of rain had fallen by 9 p.m. Monday in neighboring Rumford, according to the National Weather Service.

Along with the rain were a strong, gusty winds that knocked out power.


Businesses in downtown Mexico were under water Tuesday evening due to the confluence of the Swift and Androscoggin rivers.

Mexico Plaza, the popular Dick’s Restaurant and the town gazebo behind the Town Office, were flooded. Water also seeped into the basement at the Mexico Fire Station. The Mexico post office left its trucks at the Rumford post office after delivery Monday because they knew their office at 7 Riverside Ave. would be flooded.

Around 7 p.m. Monday, Teddy McLaughlin on Dix Avenue near the Swift River, posted on Facebook, “I need someone with a truck to come help me and my dogs and my buddies out. Please, we gotta get out of here.”

A Mexico Fire Department firefighter said they rescued McLaughlin with the help of a bucket loader.

“Made it out safely,” McLaughlin posted later. “Just sitting here thinking about how crazy this is … don’t even know what I’ll have left after, along with many other people I’m sure … just don’t really know what to do from here.”

Christal Treadwell posted a video from The Carriage House at the Gregory Inn at 767 River Road in Mexico showing a couple of vehicles plowing their way through the water on the way into Dixfield.


Mexico Fire Department safety officer Jack GaudetGaudet said a couple of rescues were necessary when motorists drove around the cones. “They got out so far then tried to turn around and got stuck,” he said.

“We couldn’t get to them, so we had to call Rumford for their boat. They’ve got water suits and stuff like that. They were there within 10 minutes, got them out and got them to Med-Care (Ambulance) to take them somewhere to get warm,” he said.

Gaudet said a search for the United States Geological Survey showed that in 1987 flood, the Androscoggin River crested at 23.66 feet.

“This morning, it was about a foot and a half lower than 1987,” he said.

Flooding Monday night behind the Mexico Town Office surrounds the town gazebo. To the right are two trucks with Spectrum. Mexico Fire Department photo

The Rumford Police Department posted Monday afternoon that most routes to Andover were closed or flooded.

Lincoln Avenue closed Monday afternoon as the Swift River overflowed its banks onto Three Fields along Route 2, and damaged a temporary road that was being prepared for next spring’s replacement of the Red Bridge.

Early Monday evening, barricades were put up in Mexico by the McLain Memorial Bridge (Mexico-Peru bridge) as waters from the Androscoggin swept over Route 2.

Mexico Fire Department posted, “We hope you are all in a safe place. If you need a warm safe place to go, Mountain Valley High School on Hancock Street (in Rumford) is our warming shelter for this storm. The power is on and it’s warm there.”

The post added, “Please prepare for the long haul and look out for one another. Fire departments all over are doing their best to respond to your calls. Oxford County dispatchers have been incredible through deep call volumes. We all need to band together on this one. Stay safe out there and please do not drive through standing or moving water on roadways.”

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