Severe flooding occurred in Aroostook and Penobscot Counties in northern Maine between April 28 and May 1, 2008, and damage was extensive in the town of Fort Kent. Aroostook County was declared a Federal disaster area on May 9, and the declaration was expanded to include Penobscot County on May 16-qualifying the entire region for federal assistance.
Water in the St. John River peaked at 30.17 feet in Fort Kent (5 feet above flood stage), hit the low steel of the International Bridge connecting Fort Kent to New Brunswick, caused closure of international bridges in Fort Kent, Van Buren, and Hamlin and came within inches of the top of a 30-foot-high earthen dike constructed to protect the downtown area of Fort Kent. Longterm streamgages with 25 to 84 years of record on the Big Black, St. John, Allagash, Fish, and Aroostook Rivers recorded maximum streamflows for their respective periods of record.
Northern Maine experienced major floods in 1923, 1973, 1974, 1979, and 1983 (Maloney and Bartlett, 1991). All of these floods were in late April or early May when heavy rain combined with snowmelt runoff.