Unprecedented Coastal Floods Hit Hampton Beach, Maine: Evacuations and Damage Reported

When it comes to extreme weather events, coastal flooding can be especially devastating. Recently, Hampton Beach in Maine experienced an "unprecedented" storm and high tide, resulting in widespread evacuations and significant damage to homes and...

Hampton Beach Flooding

When it comes to extreme weather events, coastal flooding can be especially devastating. Recently, Hampton Beach in Maine experienced an "unprecedented" storm and high tide, resulting in widespread evacuations and significant damage to homes and infrastructure. This event has been described by local leaders as the most severe flooding they have witnessed in their careers.

Evacuations and Road Closures

More than 20 people were forced to evacuate their homes at Hampton Beach due to the rising floodwaters. Firefighters faced challenges in accessing a home fire in Rye as water levels were too high. Roads leading to Hampton Beach, as well as other coastal towns in New Hampshire and Maine, were closed by police and fire officials. Areas such as Rye, North Hampton, New Castle, York, and Kennebunk were affected by the flooding.

Flooding at Hampton Beach

The heavy rainstorm and high tide caused major flooding on local roads near Ocean Boulevard and Ashworth Avenue in Hampton. Waves began splashing over the seawall two hours before high tide, causing widespread inundation of the beach area. The water even reached the stairs of the police station and entered the Fire Department's beach headquarters. The severity of the flooding left authorities astonished.

Assessment of Damage and Unattended Death

Hampton Police Chief Alex Reno, with over two decades of experience, described the flooding as the worst he has ever seen at Hampton Beach. While responding to storm-related incidents, including small fires and smoke in buildings, the emergency responders had to deal with an unattended death and a dog drowning. The unattended death does not appear to be directly related to the storm, and investigations are still ongoing.

Flooding at Hampton Beach

Authorities are now assessing the overall damage caused by the storm. Residents who sustained property damage are encouraged to report it to the state's hotline at 211. Depending on the extent of the damage, there may be financial assistance available from the federal government. It will take time to restore normalcy as the cleanup and repair work begins.

North Hampton Fire Chief Describes the Flooding as Unprecedented

North Hampton Fire Chief Jason Lajoie, with 21 years of experience, stated that the current situation caused by the storm is unparalleled. He described it as an "unprecedented" event, with extensive damage to road infrastructure, including a collapsed seawall on Route 1A near Bass Beach. Lajoie expressed concern about onlookers who disregarded safety barriers and tried to drive through high water, jeopardizing not only their own safety but also the safety of emergency responders.

Flooding in Hampton

Emergency responders in North Hampton had to handle various storm-related incidents, such as a house with standing water and floating propane tanks. They worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of residents and mitigate further damage caused by the storm.

Road Closures and Power Outages in Maine

Coastal areas in southern Maine, including Wells, York, and Kennebunk, also faced flooding and road closures. Long Beach Avenue and Ocean Avenue were closed in York. In Kennebunk, streets like Parsons Beach Road, Western Avenue, and Boothby Avenue were closed to through traffic. Wells had Webhannet Road closed due to storm surge. Power outages were reported in both New Hampshire and Maine, with crews working diligently to restore power as quickly as possible.

Flooding in Portsmouth

Conclusion: Recovering from the Storm

As the storm starts to calm down and waters recede, the focus shifts to assessing the overall damage and beginning the cleanup process. The communities affected by this unprecedented coastal flooding are reminded to prioritize safety and follow the guidance of local authorities. The road to recovery may be long and challenging, but with support and resilience, Hampton Beach and surrounding areas will bounce back from this natural disaster.

Hampton Beach Resident

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