Mainers have weathered some pretty nasty storms over the years. Many long-time residents remember the Ice Storm of ’98 and the April Fool’s Day storm of ’87.

But they weren’t prepared for the wallop Mother Nature brought on Dec. 18, 2023 and then twice again with back-to-back rainstorms a few weeks later on Jan. 10 and 13 of this year.

Piers, pilings, boats, property and the shoreline were severely damaged by flooding in December with significant power outages around the state and nearly $20 million in damage to public infrastructure. Eight Maine coastal counties that suffered severe flooding – York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, Waldo, Hancock and Washington – prompted Governor Janet Mills to request that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conduct a Preliminary Damage Assessment. As a result, President Joe Biden approved that request and made Maine eligible for federal disaster relief funding.

But winter wasn’t done with us yet.  In January, the floodwaters from swollen rivers devastated the state yet again … and again, leaving many towns underwater. Once again, Mills put in another request to FEMA for a Major Disaster Declaration from the federal government. At the time of this blog, federal aid was still pending, but a Bangor Daily News article instructed residents how they could access federal money if their homes were impacted.

After January’s storm aftermath, the mayor of Saco, Jodi MacPhail, said through The Bangor Daily News,  “…this latest storm created damage I have not seen in my lifetime…”

As for lobstermen and other fishermen, the winter storms left communities “in shambles” with wharves pummeled, lobster boats washed to shore, and gear swept away from aggressive high tides, according to National Fisherman.

To illustrate, Captain Dan Rodgers from Corea, Maine, posted photos of all the damage done to his gear, telling National Fisherman, “Thankfully, no one got hurt, and the boat is still on the mooring where I left it. Others in our small community weren’t as lucky.”

Mainers are known for being hardy and self-reliant, but for many, the devastating flood damage was too much to withstand.  Communities looking for help were instructed to access the resource pages of and The Island Institute.

If you want to assist lobstermen in Maine with your own donation, The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association has set up a donor page where you can give any amount of your choice along with a personal comment.

Find more stories about the inner workings of Maine’s lobstering communities on our blog and come see for yourself this summer! Once again, the Maine Lobster Festival is offering free admission July 31-Aug. 4, 2024. Visit for more info.