GRAY, Maine — Pounding rain and howling winds greeted much of Maine Tuesday morning, and much of the state remained under a flood watch with wet weather expected to continue throughout the day.
According to the National Weather Service, flood watches will be in effect for multiple counties through Wednesday morning.
The combination of heavy rain and melting snow has the potential to create flooding, according to the weather service.
In addition to heavy rain, scattered thunderstorms are expected throughout the day. Between 1.5 and 2.5 inches of rain were expected.
Flood watches are in effect for Oxford, Franklin, Somerset, York, Cumberland, Androscoggin, Kennebec, Waldo, York, Cumberland, Lincoln, Knox and Sagadahoc counties.
The heaviest of the rain was expected to move out by Tuesday afternoon, according to the weather service.
Most of the state’s rivers are rising due to melting snow, and the rain will cause some rivers to rise to bankfull and possibly overflow banks, the weather service said.
Flood warnings are posted for the Mattawamkeag River in northern Penobscot County and the Swift River in Oxford County.
According to the weather service, Falmouth had received the most rainfall at 4.27 inches, while 3.64 fell at Portland International Jetport.
The weather service also reported 3.73 inches of rain in Lisbon Falls in Androscoggin County.
The rain has caused a culvert to become plugged in Ellsworth, washing out Dollard Farm Way to the point where the road was impassable, according to Ellsworth Police Chief Chris Coleman.
Dollard Farm Way is a private development off Route 1 that has at least 10 houses, according to Coleman.
“The culvert was plugged and the rain had nowhere to go,” Coleman said.
Maine Department of Transportation officials were expected to be working most of the day to rectify the problem.
According to the MDOT’s Web site, Route 4 has been closed in both directions four miles east of the Phillips area, while Route 41 at Main Street in Vienna has been closed, also in both directions. Route 225 near Smithfield is also closed, according to the MDOT.