AUBURN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Heavy rainfall and melting snowoverwhelmedstorm drains,many which were clogged with snow and ice, flooding roads throughout the state.
Public works and highway maintenance crews struggled to keep up with the rising water throughout the morning on Monday as they rushed to not only reopen roads, but beat theclock before temperatures plummet below freezing once the storm passes by.
"We've been right out straight since a couple days before Christmas," stated Tim Cusick, superintendent of the Maine Department of Transportation's Region 1. "The guys are getting tired, they have been at itseven days a week basically for the past two or three weeks."
"And then, we get this," he lamented. "The snow is so far out a lot of the times from the drain itself we have to dig into the drains, clear the snow, and a lot of it builds ice too against the drains that we have to chop out to get the water to run."
He says crews have a limited window to get things cleaned up before things freeze.
"We are pretty concerned about the quick freeze and it is going to get pretty icy before the night is out, I'm afraid," said Cusick.
Compounding the problem is the fact that all the sand and salt that has been used to treat the roads over the past few storms has been washed away,meaning road crews will be out sanding and salting into the wee hours to keep things moving.
Cusick says crews are planning on a long day, but he hopes they catch a break with the weather soon.
"Hopefully it looks like this week we are going to get a few days where it is not going to snow," he said.
Just enough time to attack those pesky potholes which have already surfaced thanks to the fluctuating temperatures, snow and rain.