Westbrook, ME Flood, Mar 1896

Carried All Before It.

WESTBROOK, Me., March 8.---There was a foot of snow on the ground here, and this melting caused the Presumpscot river to rise very rapidly. The ice in the river began to go out yesterday, and in an hour's time the water had risen 10 feet. The bridge at W. K. [ineligible]'s [ineligible] [ineligible] went, and then followed a railroad bridge. The wheelhouse of the Westbrook electric light station was carried away, leaving Westbrook without any means of lighting.

By this time the debris brought down by the raging waters had accumulated into a mass of threatening proportions. It lodged against the big iron railroad bridge of the Maine Central road. The water, which had backed up against the bridge, rose fully 30 feet, and when released spread over the adjacent territory for a distance of 100 yards back from the natural banks of the river.

Below the bridge were the mills of S. D. Warren, the largest paper mills in the world. The gate house, which recently cost $40,000, was destroyed, and this will throw 2500 people out of employment. Pride bridge, which has stood the floods of 40 years, together with a power station of S. D. Warren, which furnishes light for the mills and the city of Deering, were both carried away.

The Stroud brook, which in summer time, almost runs dry, began a torrent and swept away String-street bridge. Two bridges at Mellison Falls have gone down. The bridge at Gorham also went down in the flood, and it is reported that the bridge at Saco, on the mountain division of the Maine Central, and two other bridges on the same branch have gone out.

The Fitchburg Sentinel, Fitchburg, MA 2 Mar 1896