In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Maine Memory Network

High Water

Text by Candace Kanes

Images from Androscoggin Historical Society, Caribou Public Library, Cornish Historical Society, Lewiston Public Library, Lisbon Historical Society, Lovell Historical Society, Skowhegan History House, Stockholm Historical Society, and Maine Historical Society.

Some people recall the flood of 1936 as the "big one." It affected Maine, New England, and beyond as rivers rose, ice jammed against bridges, and serious damage and disruption followed.

Others talk about 1886 or 1987 or another year when the river or stream near them spilled over its banks, taking with it bridges, roads, trees, and sometimes intruding into homes and businesses.

Spring floods do not happen every year, but the right combination of snow pack, ice, temperatures, and rainfall can result in spectacular and often destructive high water.