AUGUSTA — As estimates of the destruction from the Dec. 18 storm continue to be tallied, officials say early damage estimates in Franklin and Oxford counties have collectively topped nearly $9 million, including more than $3 million in Rumford alone.

L&A Veterans Council Chairman Jerry DeWitt surveys damage Thursday morning at Veterans Memorial Park in Lewiston. He is trying to arrange for a crane to pick up many of the benches, stones and memorials that were washed away by the Androscoggin River after Monday’s storm. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

In Kennebec County, damage to public infrastructure has been estimated to be more than $1 million, and growing. Sean Goodwin, acting director of the Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency, said when the paperwork is filed later this month, the county estimate could reach $1.6 million.

This tally comes as representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have arrived in Maine and, with Maine Emergency Management representatives, are reviewing and validating damage assessments compiled by county emergency management staff from the powerful storm that left thousands in the dark and caused the Kennebec River to breach its banks in Somerset and Kennebec counties.

Vanessa Corson, public information officer for MEMA, said Wednesday that damage estimates for all areas in the state are not yet available.

“FEMA is in Maine this week to help validate damage numbers for public assistance and individual assistance,” Corson said via email.

According to Rachael Leighton, secretary for the Local Emergency Planning Committee, Oxford County EMA director Allyson Hill was out in the field with FEMA officials checking the damage Wednesday. Preliminary figures exclusively for public facilities and infrastructure peg the damage at more than $5.7 million countywide.


Rumford sustained the most damage in the county, at more than $3 million of public damage. Gould Academy in Bethel, considered a private entity, had more than $1 million in damage, largely stemming from damage to a training facility at Sunday River from a mudslide.

Franklin County was also hard hit in the December storm. According to county EMA Director Amanda Simoneau, preliminary figures topped $3.09 million. Staff are working to validate the damage.

Androscoggin County officials were not able to be reached Wednesday afternoon.

If the agencies agree that the costs of addressing storm damage are more than the state can address with its own resources, Gov. Janet Mills is expected to request a major disaster declaration from President Biden that would unlock funding for restoration efforts.

Damage reports for homes and businesses — individual assistance — are still being compiled and will be collected throughout January.

“We have a number of requests for assistance, but that’s a little harder to figure out because of homeowners’ insurance and things like that,” Goodwin said. “MEMA and FEMA and our people are out there today doing some of those investigations now.”


A pickup truck is stranded Dec. 19 on the Sunday River access road after a heavy rainstorm the day before. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Throughout the Kennebec River valley, a lot of personal damage is being tallied in the wake of the flood, as water filled parking lots, some with cars still parked in them and flooded both businesses and residences.

As emergency management officials are measuring the damage, cleanup efforts are underway, including fuel spills in Waterville, Winslow, Augusta, Hallowell and Gardiner, he said.

“We had some issues in Augusta with floating propane tanks,” he said.

Last week, FEMA approved a request from MEMA to start a preliminary damage assessment, which is the first formal step in seeking a federal disaster declaration.

The Mills administration has set up the Maine Flood Resources and Assistance Hub as a central location for information, resources and help for those affected by the flood. It can be found at

Staff writers Steve Sherlock and Donna Perry contributed to this report.

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