There was a fun natural phenomena occurring in Westbrook, Maine. That is the town where a nearly 300 ft. wide ice disk has been floating around in the Presumpscot River. No one knows exactly when it began to form but it was first noticed on January 14th when a local business owner contacted the city officials in the city of 19,000, and then the next morning the city tweeted out photos.
— City Of Westbrook ME (@CityofWestbrook) January 15, 2019
After the discovery the city enjoyed a fair bit of tourism and world attention with international news putting the story out as a bit of a lighter shift from the normal darker tone of news coverage. There was even a live webcam set up to capture the spinning disk of ice which offers time-lapse coverage of previous days.
Unfortunately, the ice disk suffered some damage this past week when a man decided to climb out onto it and attempt to carve a peace sign into the spinning circle. He claimed he wanted to show a sign of the peace spinning like on the globe, however locals were not feeling so peaceful about it and phoned police.
“It isn’t against the law to chop river ice,” Westbrook Police Department Captain Sean Lally told the Press Herald. “Unusual? Yes. Why someone would come here from New Jersey to chop up an ice disk is beyond me. I do know that the river will continue to flow and the Maine winter is far from over, so Mr. Angelo might want to seek long-term accommodations if he intends to defy Mother Nature.”
The City of Westbrook even posted about it on their Facebook page.
Today was a rough day for the ice disk. It was hit by warm temperatures, heavy rains, and an out of state visitor who used tools to cut chunks out of it and carve a line across the middle. We discourage anyone from attempting to go out on the ice. It is not safe and the public is enjoying it in tact. We hope the ice disk can rebound. This timelapse captures the events of the day.
Posted by City of Westbrook on Thursday, January 24, 2019
Eventually the would be ice sculptor gave up on his project, but not before he fell into the frigid water getting soaked to his waist and having to clamber out on his own, and also not before doing some serious damage to the natural phenomenon which it seems has ceased its spinning. The spinning motion is essential to keep the disc shape and the shape was essential to the spin, without both it is likely to end up as simply another patch of ice on the river.
Some people just can’t leave a good thing alone.
Image from the City of Westbrook on Twitter.