The flood danger in Westbrook has passed days after a large landslide blocked the Presumpscot River.
Westbrook Mayor Michael Foley issued a state of emergency amid flood dangers following the landslide on Wednesday.
By Monday, Foley said the river “began to find its own course,” and was flowing enough that the risk of flooding was no longer present, the Portland Press Herald reported. Foley is allowing his citywide state of emergency declaration to expire.
The two-acre landslide — which was reported around 11:30 a.m. at 161 Warren Ave. — blocked a section of the Presumpscot River downstream from the Sappi Mill for several hours, forcing the water level behind the blockage to rise up to 13 feet.
Risk of flooding subsided later in the day after the mill restricted river flow at its five upstream dams, bringing down water levels. The water level was also unusually low prior to the landslide, which helped prevent flooding on the riverbank or upstream.
Immediate risk of flash flooding had passed by Thursday afternoon. By the end of the week, city and state officials were assessing damage to determine whether the riverbank was stable enough for crews to begin repairing the area.
Officials also met Saturday with experts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who advised that the landslide was a natural event and it was “best to let nature take its course,” Foley said.
They offered long-term solutions for the river the city could pursue but did not recommend any immediate action.
The city reminds people to stay away from the area, as it remains potentially unstable.