Robinson Drive in Rockport washed out during the Halloween weekend storm. Credit: Jason Peasley / Rockport Fire Department

State and local road crews in the midcoast region are working to clean up from a weekend storm that brought a deluge of rain in a short period of time, causing parts of some roadways to crumble.

Sections of two state roads ― Route 52 in Camden and Route 235 in the Union-Waldoboro area ― have washed out and will be closed until Friday, according to the Maine Department of Transportation.

Overall, the DOT is estimating that the storm caused about $350,000 in damage to state roads, with the worst of the damage occurring in the midcoast area.

“While yesterday’s weather was severe and did some damage, it’s far from the worst thing we’ve dealt with. It’s fixable, it will take some time, it will take some hard work but that’s what we do,” DOT spokesperson Paul Merrill said.

From Saturday night into early morning Sunday, towns in the midcoast region saw between four and seven inches of rain, according to National Weather Service forecaster Derek Schroeter. While the rain was widespread, the midcoast and southern coast received the highest rain totals.

The  storm resulted in power outages as well as flash flooding, which made numerous roadways in Knox County impassable at some point Sunday before the waters began to recede.

This photo shows damage to Route 52 following a storm on Oct. 31. Credit: Contributed

At the peak on Sunday, about a dozen roads in Rockland were flooded. The water on roadways measured between several inches and two feet.  

Rockland Fire Chief Chris Whytock said his department received over 30 calls Sunday for reports of flooded basements and roadways. An assisted living facility also experienced flooding on its first floor, Whytock said, though residents did not have to be moved.  

In nearby Rockport, it was a similar story. Rockport Fire Chief Jason Peasley said at least 10 roads in Rockport were impassable at some point on Sunday due to flooding. He said his department also received reports of basements flooding, as well as an area on Warrenton Street where two pieces of someone’s yard slid into the ocean.

“This was definitely rare,” Rockland Fire Chief Chris Whytock said. “I’ve been here over 22 years now, and I have never seen [flooding] that bad. It was definitely different and I think it was directly related to the amount of water that came in such a short period of time.”

In Rockport, an entire subdivision was stranded for a period of 12 hours on Sunday when a 47-foot section of Robinson Drive washed out, Peasley said.

The stretch of road that washed away was located over a large culvert, Peasley said. The culvert became overwhelmed due the influx of rain, causing water to run over the roadway, which over time caused the ground beneath the pavement to erode and collapse.

Public works crews were able to reopen the road around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, by creating a dirt road surface. Prior to Sunday’s wash out, the town of Rockport was already in the process of having engineering work done to rebuild that portion of Robinson Drive, Peasley said, so the  temporary road surface will be in place until the town completes that project.

While some minor damage was caused by the flooding, only a few roads were damaged in Rockland and all were open as of Monday.

DOT managed roads in the midcoast and other parts of the state saw minor damage, like downed trees and some washed out sections along shoulders of the roadway, Merrill said. But only Route 52 and Route 235 remained impassable as of Monday, with portions of the travel lanes being washed away.

Town road crews were also working Monday to repair Mount Pleasant Street in Rockport, which is down to one lane after one side of the road washed out, Peasley said.

The weekend storm comes on the heels of a particularly wet couple of months in the area, Peasley said. Fallen leaves also created instances in which storm drains were clogged, he said.

“Between the amount of rain that was already in the ground over the last three months, there was just nowhere for any of it to go,” Peasley said. “It was a culmination of many things and one quick rain storm.”