August 29, 2011 12:15 PM, EDT

Flooding Damages I-287 in New Jersey

Hurricane Irene rainfall has caused extensive flood damage in northern New Jersey where a section of the northbound lanes of Interstate 287 collapsed Sunday night north of the intersection of Interstate 80.

The collapse occurred in Boonton where I-287 crosses the Rockaway River just south of Exit 44, according to news reports.

That portion of I-287 runs from the I-80 intersection north to the New York State Thruway, an important truck route that is toll free.

Police are diverting traffic and engineers are assessing the damage, news reports from the areas said.

Further south in New Jersey, flooding has also closed Route 18 through the city of New Brunswick.

In Maine, Route 27, a major traffic artery through the state’s northern forest area, underwater and access roads and bridges in the area have been washed out, stranding about 100 people in Sugarloaf.

“We know a lot of the forest product trucks travel that road,” said Brian Parke, president of the Maine Motor Transport Association.

Route 27 intersects Interstate 95, carrying traffic all the way from the Maine coast at Booth Bay Harbor to the Maine border town of Coburn Gore before crossing over the Canadian border into Quebec.

“There’s a lot of truck traffic that goes through Coburn Gore,” Parke said.