Rainfall from Hanna soaks coastal Maine

Posted Sept. 07, 2008, at 11:30 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 28, 2011, at 12:29 p.m.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — The remnants of Tropical Storm Hanna brought torrential rain to eastern coastal Maine early Sunday morning, resulting in isolated spots of flooding but no injuries or major damage, according to officials.

The heaviest rain was in coastal Hancock and Washington counties. Rain fell hard from about 10 p.m. Saturday to around 8 a.m. Sunday, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Caribou said Sunday, with most reports of flooding coming between 5:30 and 8 a.m.

“The actual rain that occurred was over 6 inches in places,” Mal Walker of NWS said. “That’s as much as a lot of places get in two months.”

The highest reported amount of rainfall was in Bar Harbor, which received 7.61 inches of rain, according to Walker. Several smaller roads in town were flooded, while the intersection of West and Eden streets in downtown Bar Harbor was closed off for about two hours after more than a foot of standing water was reported in the roadway.

Other places on Mount Desert Island where minor road flooding occurred included Hall Quarry, the Seawall area of Southwest Harbor, and where Route 3 passes little Long Pond in Mount Desert.

In Washington County, there were several spots along or near Route 1 where water flowed over the road as it ran toward the sea. According to Richard Moore, dispatcher with Washington County Regional Communications Center, one car stalled out and became stranded Sunday morning when it tried to drive through a flooded portion of Route 192 in Whitneyville. Another car went off Route 1 in Perry where it had flooded and a third drove into a washout on South Lubec Road near Quoddy Head. No one was injured in the incidents, he said.

“It’s starting to recede now,” Moore said Sunday afternoon. “There’s no structural damage reported that we’re aware of.”

There were reports of flooded basements and power outages caused by falling trees, according to Moore. Trees that fell over were victims of the heavy rainfall softening up the ground more than anything, he said.

“It was due more to water saturation than winds,” Moore said. “Maine [Department of Transportation] is going to be busy [checking roads] over the next couple of days.”

In Ellsworth, it wasn’t only the torrential rain that fell to the ground, which for a time flooded Beechland Road near Bayside Road. Traffic signals and signs that had been erected recently at the intersection of Myrick Street and Route 1 came crashing to the pavement around 4 a.m., blocking the intersection for more than three hours.

Ellsworth police said Sunday they weren’t sure why the traffic signals came down, but said it could have been a combination of natural and human elements. The rain may have softened the earth that was holding the temporary poles upright, causing them to tilt and lower the lines closer to the ground. Police suspect a tractor-trailer may have done the rest of the damage, catching the lines and pulling everything to the ground as it cruised through the intersection.

Eastbound traffic on Route 1 was rerouted onto Washington Junction Road, which connects Ellsworth’s Main Street to Route 1 in the town of Hancock, just east of where the traffic signals lay on the roadway. After the intersection was opened, workers from AD Electric in Monmouth worked into the afternoon to get the traffic signals back up and working.

The lights recently were erected as part of a new traffic pattern in Ellsworth that was prompted by development in the Beckwith Hill area. The lights, which have been working for less than a week, eventually will be mounted on fixed arms rather than suspended on wires between poles.

Many towns in coastal Hancock and Washington counties had work crews out Sunday, making sure roads were clear of debris and checking them for roadside erosion, according to emergency department dispatchers. Many dirt roads and carriage roads in Acadia National Park were closed to ac-cess other than foot traffic Sun-day because of storm-related erosion.

Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. said in a statement Sunday morning that slightly more than 700 of its customers were without power earlier Sunday, most of them in the Machias area of Washington County. By Sunday afternoon all but two of those customers had their power restored, according to the company.

Central Maine Power Co. said its outages were concen-trated in its Alfred service district. Heavy rain also fell in parts of southern Maine, including York which got almost as much rainfall as Bar Harbor.

Hanna’s departure was fol-lowed by brighter skies and drier air.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

btrotter@bangordailynews.net

460-6318

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