High tide floods Route 1 in Lincolnville Beach

By Susan Mustapich | Jan 05, 2018
Courtesy of: Mike Ames A post office truck encountered about foot of water on Route 1 in Lincolnville Jan. 4, and stalled shortly thereafter.

LINCOLNVILLE — A high tide and storm surge covered Route 1 in Lincolnville Beach with about a foot of water, just after noon during the Jan. 4 blizzard.

The flooding was caused by the combination of an astronomical high tide, brought on by the full moon Jan. 1, and the storm surge delivered by northeast winds during the blizzard. Despite the flooding, Town Administrator David Kinney said there was no damage to town infrastructure, which includes the town pier, ramp and floats. He noted that while flooding was neither rare or frequent at Lincolnville Beach, it does occur there when storms combine with an astronomical high tide.

Dwight Wass, owner of Lincolnville Fine Art Gallery and Antiques on Route 1 across the road from the wide public beach said his gallery was not affected by the flooding on the road. The building was moved onto a new foundation and raised 18 inches, in the 1990s, he said. Nonetheless, as a precaution, artwork and braided rugs in the gallery were moved off of the floor.

Wass was mostly concerned for the safety of motorists on Route 1. Under normal conditions, the tide flows under the bridge at Lincolnville Beach, up into Frohock Brook, then freezes and thaws, creating large blocks of ice.

While Route 1 was flooded, motorists drove right into the water, unaware that it contained large chunks of ice and debris, dislodged by the high tide. Wass said, "With large blocks of ice and debris on Route 1, it could have caused damage to the cars and been a dangerous situation."

In addition, cars and trucks driving by created waves that lapped up towards the buildings.

Wass said he called the Maine Department of Transportation and the Waldo County Sheriff's Department to alert them of the hazards on the road. He said both departments and the Lincolnville Fire Department eventually arrived at the beach, and were helpful.

Further south on Camden Harbor, there was some flooding in Harbor Park, at the edge of Camden Harbor. This flooding has occurred before in combination with a storm and an unusually high tide.

Camden Town Manager Audra Caler-Bell wrote in an email that there was no damage in Camden Harbor Jan. 4. She added that Harbormaster Steve Pixely told her this was the highest tide he has ever seen.

The concrete ramp at Steamboat Landing was damaged during a previous storm on Oct. 30, that brought down trees, downed power lines, and left thousands of Midcoast residents in the dark. The repair will take place in the spring, according to Caler-Bell, The cost will be about $3,400, and will be covered by the town's insurance.

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