Flash flood warning issued for Washington County; Route 1 in Calais shut down

Posted July 26, 2013, at 9:10 p.m.

CALAIS, Maine — The National Weather Service office in Caribou has issued a flash flood warning for Washington County effective through 2:15 a.m. Saturday.

Affected communities include Calais, Machias, Lubec, East Port, Vanceboro, Cherryfield, Topsfield, Princeton and Grand Lake Stream, the weather service said.

In a bulletin issued shortly before 8:30 p.m., the weather service said that law enforcement officials from that area reported flash flooding across parts of Washington County, where rainfall totals ranged from 3.5 inches to nearly 5 inches on Friday alone. The heaviest rains were ending about the time the alert was issued.

A Washington County Sheriff’s Department dispatcher said that Route 1 in Calais, which also is the town’s Main Street, was shut down at the traffic circle and at the intersection with Franklin Street.

Although heavy rains were beginning to wind down, there was a potential for a much as another inch of rain in some locations overnight, forecasters said.

The weather service said some roads had been washed out or were covered with water but county dispatchers did not yet have specifics. In addition, trees have fallen across some roads due to the saturated soils.

Motorists are asked watch out for water-covered or damaged roads, the weather service said. People in affected areas also are cautioned against trying to cross flood water in vehicles or on foot because flood waters usually are deeper than they appear.