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Storms destroy roads in Rumford

RUMFORD (WGME) -- At least two roads are impassible in Rumford following severe thunderstorms late Wednesday afternoon.

Hall Hill Road and parts of South Rumford Road are closed.  Rushing flood waters took out the soil underneath the pavement, causing sections of the roads to collapse. 

Rumford town manager John Madigan says this is the fifth straight year that towns in Oxford County have been hit by a violent, damaging storm and he says if FEMA can't help, the state of Maine should.

Madigan says: These are happening every year. And there was an effort a few years ago from the town of Brownville to try to get some legislation to deal with these kinds of microbursts. And the legislature didn't deal with it. So they are going to have to start rethinking that.

Maine DOT worker, Michael Maxwell, says he has seen his share of storm damage but he's never seen a storm like the one last night, When it came down, it came down in buckets."

On Thursday at least a half-dozen roads were being repaired, roads that had either partially or completely washed out.

A section of Hall Hill Road looked more like it was hit by a massive earthquake than floodwaters.

Louise Stickney, a Rumford resident, says: Like an earthquake come through, rumbled the earth and phew, down it came. I mean I look at that road and I can't put it through my head how much damage there is."

Water was still coming down the hills and mountains surrounding Rumford.

Gordon Philips, who lives on Hall Hill Road, says the water backed up in a culvert across the street, then came pouring over the road into his yard.

It washed away part of the road, the mailbox, and a huge section of his yard.

Phillips said: I don't like to see it. But it makes you think about people who have it a lot worse than us. You get out to the Midwest and there are hurricanes and tornadoes. You really got to feel for those people."
Part of Hall Hill Road remains closed.

The only way off the road is back the way you came.

Fortunately no one lives on the section of all Hall Hill Road that was washed away.
 
But with the Fourth of July weekend starting on Friday, there's no telling when road crews will get the section fixed.