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Look for the Good... January 15, 2024

Pier One Boothbay Harbor flooded after record high tide
Pier One Storm 2 - photo Nick Upham

I was in a shop recently (post storm 2) when someone else entering the store announced, “Be careful when you head outside, a squall’s kicked up and it’s snowing sideways.” To which the clerk in front of me replied, “Mother Nature sure is pissed at us!” I laughed and then thought, she has a point. Regardless of the reasoning behind the two most recent storms and ocean surges, working around the waterfront comes with the inherent risk of storm damage and we all brace for it. Most don’t ask why but quickly get to the task at hand of clean up with the silent mantra - we’ve been here before and we know we will be here again so let’s just get to it. As anticipated, if you look around the Boothbay Harbor region where the sea meets the land, it may look more like a junkyard full of debris than a picturesque coastal waterfront.

Boothbay Harbor's Footbridge flooded after storm 2
Footbridge Storm 2 - photo Betty Maddocks

Realizing the junction box for electricity to the marina would most likely be submerged during the high tides of the second storm, I decided to consult with William our electrician who instructed me to turn off the power. John one of our winter boaters offered to do it for me so I didn’t have to go down there. I didn’t want to inconvenience him but he insisted pointing out he was going to be there all day checking on his boat anyway. Shutting off the power meant that I would have no access to cameras and thus no eyes on the marina happenings. I asked Betty who was out and about in gusty winds and blowing rain what was happening downtown. She facetimed me and gave me some visuals. So kind. Just a couple of examples of the helping community here.


“Look for the good” that’s what I have always said to my children growing up. After two extreme high tides, flooded buildings, docks ripped off their piers, boathouses floating away, I am uplifted to see so much good. As soon as the waters receded, I walked to the marina to see the damage. For the second time, I observed ServPro inside Pier One Pizza. Rick and Korey were there. It was obvious they felt the pain of round 2 but acknowledged it could have been worse and kept on smiling. Jason was there and came down to walk the docks with Chris and I helping to clear debris. I saw Dusty and his crew working long and diligently gathering up gangways and floats like they were souvenirs then tucking them safely in the cove till they can be assessed and hopefully returned to their proper homes. Nick was driving around helping out wherever needed as usual. Kyle asked us to check on a property and we immediately

Work boat recovering floats after record high tide washes them away
Blake's Boatyard recovering floats - photo Bob McGee

obliged. William came into town and was with us after dark getting the power back on. So grateful to him. Everywhere I went in town, people asked are you okay, do you need help? My phone blew up with concerned boaters and well wishers. This is the good and it is not taken for granted. Storms will come and go but the heart of a small community in Maine runs deep and neighbors will drop everything to help you out. Like many other communities up and down the Maine coast, we recognize the unspoken privilege of having roots here and that with that privilege comes the esteemed responsibility to look out for one another.


Boothbay Harbor Marina after record high tide and storm
Boothbay Harbor Marina post storm 2 - photo Kim Gillies

*Video courtesy of Bob McGee




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