Remember The April Fool’s Day Flood Of 1987? Watch the Video…
34 years ago today, I remember thinking it must've been some kind of reeeeally bad joke, because I heard on the radio that they'd canceled school. Typically impossible, right? Especially considering it was April Fool's Day. But sure enough, the bus never came, and I was a bit confused.
So, I turned on the TV, and they were showing all sorts of footage from downtown Bangor, all flooded out. Cars were under water. Everywhere down by Pickering Square was completely under water. Sing's Restaurant and that whole plaza were in peril. Although, to this day, I'm not sure why school in Hampden was canceled.
Likely it was roads being flooded out in different spots. Over the course of a couple days starting on March 30th, the area got several inches of rain. According to the BDN, it was what experts described as a "500-year flood". Meaning, we hadn't seen anything like this in that long, and likely never will again in our lifetime.
It was so devastating because there was still snow on the ground, and the ground was still frozen. When all the rain came through, basically everything melted, and washed away on frozen ground, as opposed to being absorbed by it. So the frozen ground essentially made a smooth waterway for the runoff to go into the rivers.
Check out this crazy video footage of downtown Bangor. The floods literally drew crowds to watch the waters in all the parking lots.
Major rivers all over the state were breaching their banks and causing extensive damage. When all was said and done, some 2000+ house were flooded, while hundreds of others had been damage, if not out and out destroyed. Not to mention countless businesses, and also roads and bridges just disappeared in some spots.
All I know, is that our basement didn't flood any more than usual. It always had water in it when it rained. I also had an unexpected day off from school. And again, given the day... a lot of us kids thought it was a cruel joke. But man, didn't we party like it was 1987 that day. We broke out some Fruit Roll-Ups, some Mountain Dew, and hit the road.... on our BMX's!