Fort Kent underwater: Remembering the 'Mayday' flood of '08

Fort Kent remembers the Mayday flood in 2008

FORT KENT, Maine (NEWS CENTERS) -- The destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana has caught the attention of millions, but the images are perhaps especially personal to the Fort Kent community.

You may remember that area was hit with severe flooding after two of it's rivers overflowed. NEWS CENTER's Samantha York went back to Fort Kent to see how they've recovered -- a decade later.
 
“You see the water level above these guardrails and you see the force behind that water flowing,” Fort Kent town manager Don Guimond said remembering the flood. “impact to our East Main street area was the greatest because it is unprotected.”

200 inches of snowfall that winter followed by spring showers caused the St John river to overflow into the nearby Fish river. It put the east portion of the town underwater.

“You see the ribbon that post there,” Guimond said pointing to a nearby telephone pole. “That was roughly the height of the water.”

The river raised high enough to submerge the Fish river bridge which is more than 12 feet off of the ground. The town does have a levee in place to keep the town dry but it was no match for mother nature. The water wiped out homes and businesses, including a nearby lumber yard.

“It created kind of like a fish bowl - so we literally had piles of lumber floating down the river.” Justin Dubois said. Dubois was the manager of Quigley’s building supply at the time. “We lost two-hundred thousand dollars’ worth of material.”

The recent impact of hurricane Harvey on Houston resonates with people of the town. Guimond says it wasn't so much the disaster as it was the people. “People are willing to step up to the plate and we had the same experience here.” Guimond said. “I think with patience it will all come together as it did for us.”

Town officials will meet with multiple emergency response agencies Thursday to get the final say on extending the town's current levee. If all goes well, construction could begin as soon as Summer of 2018.

 

 

 

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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