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Governor Mills Surveys Flood Damage in New Harbor, Urges Maine People to Prepare for Weekend Storm

MAINE, January 12 - Back to current news.

January 12, 2024

Governor urges anyone who has experienced damage to report it to 211 or visit the Maine Flood Resources & Assistance Hub

New Harbor, MAINE €“ Governor Janet Mills visited New Harbor in Bristol today to survey the substantial damage caused by this week's severe weather event and urge Maine people to prepare for weekend's storm.

The multi-hazard storm that moved through Maine on Tuesday and Wednesday caused significant flooding and infrastructure damage along the Maine coast. In New Harbor, flooding destroyed several homes, buildings, and docks along the community's working waterfront.

Governor Mills being briefed about storm damage in New Harbor

Governor Mills is briefed on storm damage in New Harbor

Governor Mills and Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher surveyed the damage at the New Harbor Fishermen's Cooperative with Co-op President Mike Prior. The Governor and Commissioner Keliher were joined by State Senator Cameron Reny and State Representative Lydia Crafts. While on site, the Governor received an update on ongoing response efforts and preparations for the storm forecast for this weekend from Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency officials.

Governor Mills urged any individual or business that has experienced flood damage to report it to the State by dialing 2 €“1 €“1 or by visiting the Mills Administration's Maine Flood Resources & Assistance Hub. If that damage meets the financial statutory threshold exceeding the State's ability to respond, Governor Mills will seek another Federal Disaster Declaration €“ in addition to the one the State is preparing to submit to the Federal government for last month's storm.

"The damage I saw today in New Harbor was devastating €“ and it's representative of the destruction Maine people are experiencing up and down the coast. I ask anyone who endured property damage from this week's storm to report it to the State of Maine by dialing 211 or visiting my Administration's online Maine Flood Resources & Assistance Hub where they will find the appropriate online reporting portals," said Governor Janet Mills. "By reporting damage, Maine people are providing critical information that that will help the State secure the maximum amount of Federal assistance possible to help impacted communities recover and rebuild."

The Governor also strongly urged Maine people, especially those along the coast, to take precautions and prepare accordingly for tomorrow's rain and wind storm, which, when combined with high tides, is expected to cause similar, if not worse, flooding compared to the storm earlier this week.

"While we are still assessing the full extent of the damage, it's clear that this week's devastating flooding has put coastal Maine in a vulnerable situation as we brace for tomorrow's storm. I strongly urge Maine people, particularly those along the coast, to take this storm seriously, to prepare for it, and to follow the advice of local emergency management officials. We are encouraging people to stay away from the coast if possible," Governor Mills continued. While the storm surge will likely be smaller than earlier this week, we are expecting a larger swing in the tides which means that folks should expect serious flooding again. With high winds, there is also the likelihood of power outages. MEMA's Emergency Operations Center will be at full activation tomorrow, and we will continue to monitor the storm's impacts and respond accordingly. Please do your part by preparing and taking precautions to stay safe. Remember, it is never safe to walk through flowing water, drive through flooded areas, or drive around road barriers."

Yesterday, the Governor declared a State of Emergency for eight Maine counties along the coast that were battered by this week's storm to mobilize all State of Maine resources to assist and support response and recovery efforts, to prepare for the significant rain and wind event forecast for this coming Saturday, and to position the State to seek disaster support from the Federal government. The Mills Administration is closely monitoring the storm forecast for tomorrow.

If Maine people need emergency assistance, they should dial 911. If Maine people need non-emergency assistance, like information about where to find a warming or charging center, they should call 211, or text their zip code to 898 €“211.

Individuals or business that experienced property damage from this week's wind, rain, and flooding should report it to the State of Maine. While a damage report is not an application for financial assistance, the information will help the State measure the fill extent of the storm as it explores options for federal assistance. Damage can be reported by dialing 2 €“1 €“1 or by filling out surveys linked on the Mills Administration's Maine Flood Resources & Assistance Hub. The Maine Flood Resources & Assistance Hub also offers helpful information, resources, and assistance for Maine people who have impacted by flooding and damages.