By Rob Wolfe and Joe Lawlor, Portland Press Herald
KENNEBUNK — The weekend storm ripped the Spirit of Massachusetts floating restaurant off its moorings, sending it to the banks of the Kennebunk River, where it became stuck on the rocks.
The storm brought record rainfall on Saturday, including 3.37 inches at the Portland International Jetport, breaking a record from 1917, according to the National Weather Service in Gray. Saco recorded 4.84 inches of rain, and some areas along the midcoast received more than 4 inches on Friday night into Saturday, with less rainfall – about 1.5 to 2 inches – in many areas Down East and inland. , according to the weather service.
Flash flooding was reported along Commercial Street in Portland, along the banks of the Presumpscot River in Westbrook and at Mill Creek in Falmouth. Flash flood warnings on Saturday were issued from the New Hampshire line along the coast to near Freeport. The rain stopped on Sunday, but winds reached about 25-30 mph, with gusts of up to 50 mph knocking out power.
Central Maine Power reported 1,084 outages as of Sunday evening, including 873 in Oxford County, 489 in Penobscot County, and 448 in Somerset County. Emera Maine reported 1,284 outages, the bulk in Aroostook County in Fort Fairfield, Limestone and nearby communities.
At the time of Kennebunk incident, the Spirit of Massachusetts had long been closed for the season, and so no one was injured.
“But the tough girl that she is, she survived. She’s fine,” said Dwight Raymond, the former owner of the restaurant. Raymond said a “massive” tree that was floating down the river on Saturday ripped up the restaurant’s moorings. Raymond said there was no damage to the boat, “a couple broken glasses and that’s about it.”
According to a post on the Kennebunkport Fire Department Facebook page, crews from that department and the Maine Marine Patrol responded to the incident. Raymond said they were able to pull the boat back to the marina with cables.
The Spirit of Massachusetts, a 125-foot schooner, was repurposed as a seafood restaurant in 2014. Raymond said he sold the business to his children two years ago.