LePage seeks federal aid for road flood damage in June

Gov. Paul LePage and state Rep. Paul T. Davis Sr. inspect the washed-out road on Pleasant River Road in Brownville on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. LePage was in town to see the devastation firsthand.
Gov. Paul LePage and state Rep. Paul T. Davis Sr. inspect the washed-out road on Pleasant River Road in Brownville on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. LePage was in town to see the devastation firsthand. Buy Photo
Posted July 02, 2012, at 6:56 p.m.

Gov. Paul LePage sought federal aid Monday for flood damage to federal roads last month that totaled more than $1 million statewide, said his spokeswoman, Adrienne Bennett.

The heavy rainfall that flooded Brownville and other parts of Piscataquis County last week came after heavy flooding to several other places in central and southern Maine in what was a soggy June, Bennett said.

Total damage estimates for the month are being compiled, Bennett said. The proclamation of emergency concerns Androscoggin, Oxford, Sagadahoc, Cumberland, Piscataquis and Penobscot counties.

“The damage is significant enough so that we feel it appropriate to request aid from Washington,” Bennett said Monday.

More than 6 inches was recorded in Durham during heavy rains that occurred on June 2. Just under 6 inches fell in numerous towns and cities in southern and central Maine, with the highest amounts in Portland, Auburn, Windham, Cumberland and Westbrook.

Portland received a record 3.63 inches of rain on June 2, the fourth-wettest day recorded in June in 141 years of record-keeping.

The thunderstorm that stalled over Brownville on June 23-24 contributed to the death of a 29-year-old Milo man in Milo and severely flooded an area only about 3 1/2 miles in diameter with at least 6 inches of rainfall in three or four hours, while doing comparatively little damage elsewhere.

Patten, which is in Penobscot County, also took significant damage from the storm that hit Brownville.

LePage’s request is among several expected to go to the Federal Highway Administration. Maine Department of Transportation officials will also submit a request to help fix the roads, which are maintained by federal funds.

U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-East Millinocket, applauded LePage for his proclamation.

“Our communities need help,” Michaud said in a statement Monday. “I hope that the state of emergency proclamation issued today will help to boost Maine’s case for federal disaster assistance critical to helping to make vital repairs to Maine’s infrastructure.”

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