Thunderstorms thwart Aroostook celebrations

Posted Wednesday, July 6, 2011 in News

Thunderstorms thwart Aroostook celebrations

by Christopher Bouchard

AROOSTOOK COUNTY – Fourth of July celebrations in Aroostook County were abruptly interrupted by thunderstorms, hail the size of quarters, and flooding. Many roads were completely blocked off, leaving a good number of citizens stranded in their homes.

“I'd just turn around if I were you,” warned a man coming from the Carson Road in Woodland, while sticking his head out of his pick-up truck. “The roads are blocked off on both sides. There's nowhere to go.”

Sure enough, he was right. Those unfortunate enough to live in the small area between the two blocked-off portions of the road were trapped until the floods abated. The storm was strong enough to knock down a tree into the flooded road next to one of the Carson Road blockades.

A man who stopped at one of the blockades to take photographs remarked that this seemed like a “disaster month” for the state of Maine.

The National Weather Service in Caribou issued a flash flood warning for eastern Aroostook County, which included Limestone, Fort Fairfield and Caribou. The warning was issued at 3:07 p.m. Monday, and was effective until 5 p.m.

Another warning issued by the National Weather Service in Caribou stated that the doppler radar indicated that flash flooding was likely to occur in Loring and Woodland.

They concluded these two warnings by giving some precautionary advice to those brave enough to go on the roads, as well as those unlucky enough to already be on them: “If you encounter water on the roadway, turn around, don't drown!”

During the 6 p.m. WAGMTV newscast, weatherman Ted Shapiro said that Woodland accumulated 2 inches of rain in only 10 minutes.

Police reported that in Caribou, there was flooding on the River Road, Old Washburn Road and Mitchell Road.

The flooded roads eventually cleared up, and fireworks were still lit at Trafton Lake in Limestone.

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