Quarter Century Since Epic Maine Flood

April 2, 2012

Sunday, April 1, marked the 25th anniversary of one of the worst floods in Maine history.

On April 1, 1987, major rivers overflowed their banks, ripping out bridges and roads, destroying homes and wrecking businesses.

A picture of downtown Augusta, Maine, on April 2, 1987. Photo credit: Maine Emergency Management Agency

Experts called it a 500-year flood, while others called it the April Fools’ Day flood. But it was no laughing matter.

By the time it was over, Maine Today Media reports, 2,100 homes had been flooded; 215 were destroyed and 240 more sustained major damage.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency says the state had a normal snowpack and normal flood potential in late March 1987. But two storms brought rain to the mountains and foothills of Maine and New Hampshire, which combined with 6 or more inches of melted snow. The water ran over frozen ground, and streams and rivers flooded.

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