Heavy rainfall and high winds marked the last day of April in Lincoln County and continued into Monday, May 1 with widespread road closures and power outages from up to 6 inches of rain.
Road flooding, water damage, and power outages crossed the county and lingered for more than 24 hours in some locations. Several roads have been closed indefinitely by the state due to damage.
The National Weather Service in Gray predicted two to four inches of rain to fall across Lincoln County on Sunday, April 30 and overnight into the following day. In addition to rainfall, the National Weather Service anticipated easterly winds between 45-50 miles per hour.
By Tuesday, May 2, between 4-6 inches of precipitation were recorded across the county.
Arlene Cole, a weather observer for the National Weather Service, said she recorded 1.35 inches of rain on April 30 and 4.5 inches on May 1 at her home in Newcastle, for a storm total of 5.85.
“That is a lot of rain,” she said. “That is unusual, but we do get it, typically in the spring.”
She said the storm was out of the ordinary but not unheard of in Lincoln County, where she has been tracking weather conditions daily since 1965.
Sunday’s weather was the result of slow-moving low pressure over the Great Lakes, which was anticipated to affect Maine weather throughout the week, according to the National Weather Service.
High winds caused power outages to about 7,700 Central Maine Power Co. customers across the county, spokesperson Jon Breed said. Almost a quarter of those customers were still without power by 2 p.m. on May 1. All but five had power again by the afternoon of May 2, Breed said.
Flooding and road washouts slowed access for crews to respond, according to Breed. CMP’s employees were joined by more than 200 additional line crews.
Medomak Valley High School, Medomak Middle School, and Miller School in Waldoboro, along with all other schools in RSU 40, were closed for the day.
Road flooding and washouts added to downed lines and trees to close roads across the county on Monday.
Five Edgecomb residents on Spring Hill Farm Road were stranded when a large culvert was lifted up and washed away by storm waters, leaving them with no route to leave the neighborhood other than by foot.
During the Edgecomb Select Board meeting Tuesday, May 2, Chair Mike Smith said town officials are in contact with the residents and Edgecomb Road Commissioner Scott Griffin is working to restore vehicular access.
Smith said initial estimates to repair the damage are in the neighborhood of $50,000.
Effects from the storm closed or partially closed portions of 20 roads in Waldoboro on May 1, according to the town.
Among them were Route 235 and Finntown Road, which are state roads and not within the town’s authority to repair.
A section of Route 235 washed out near Old Augusta Road. The closure of Finntown Road is due to washouts underneath the road surface, Town Manager Julie Keizer said.
According to Keizer, the Maine Department of Transportation expects both roads to be closed “for an extended period.” Detour signs are posted at both locations.
In Whitefield, the DOT’s closure map reports sections of Route 126 closed and partially closed since May 1 due to collapsed culverts.
DOT Public Information Officer Paul Merrill returned initial request for information Tuesday, but said he was unable to provide specifics by press time Wednesday, May 3.
A flood watch remained in effect for all of Lincoln County from Sunday evening until May 2, and a warning extended by the National Weather Service until May 3.
“Even though the threat for heavy rain has ended, some area rivers remain in flood stage with many others bankfull,” the weather outlook said.
According to Cole, Lincoln County is located in area subject to weather patterns from all four directions and off the ocean.
“Some places, the flag always blows the same way (on the flagpole),” she said. “Maine is noticeable for variations. We get quite a lot of weather.”
A hazardous weather outlook from the National Weather Service was in effect for the county until Wednesday, May 3.
(Bisi Cameron Yee contributed to this article.)