Portland, Maine, Fears Flooding

A similar scenario could play out Thursday night, when a storm with strong winds and heavy rain rolls through, in time for high tide at midnight.

"I think every time it rains, it's starting to flood more," said Colin Plourde. "And it's concerning."

Footage captured in August 2014 and September of 2015 shows the most dramatic floods in recent years. City officials say these kinds of storms used to happen every few years – now it's annual.

James lewis, south portland resident
"This weather has been an anomoly," said South Portland resident James Lewis. "I think with the el nino, it's throwing everything a little out of whack."

But Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling says it's climate change.

"We have been noticing the issue of the rising tide and we have not done enough to prepare for it, and try to prevent it," said Strimling. "And we're starting to see the consequences now."

The mayor says improvements to the city's drainage system are still years away. Short-term solutions include putting up barriers on roads and around buildings, as well as taking caution around flood-prone parts of Portland.

"Drive slowly, stay out of the low-laying areas," advised Strimling.

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