‘It Happened So Quickly’: Maine Ice Jam Covers Cars, Businesses

More than a dozen cars are encased in ice along the Kennebec River in Hallowell, Maine, after an ice jam caused floodwaters to freeze around vehicles in a parking lot early Sunday morning.

"Unless you have scuba gear, there's no way to get them out," said Stephanie Arnio, a Hallowell resident who owns one of the trapped cars.

"It's a brand new car," said Andrew Terlesky, who owns a Subaru stuck in the ice. "You would never think it would flood this early in the wintertime."

According to Kennebec County Emergency Management Director Sean Goodwin, it could take several days for the cars to be towed out of the frozen lot.

The county EMA brought in a front-end loader to help break up the ice around the cars, in the hopes that the water will start to flow and recede out of the area.

"It's an ice jam, you can't predict when the ice jam is going to happen," said Goodwin.

Insurance agents say drivers without comprehensive coverage will have to pay out of pocket for this kind of flood damage.

"It's worth the coverage and worth the price to have comprehensive coverage on your auto policy," she said.

The ice jam and flooding has impacted Hallowell business owners, too. Wayne Hyde owns the Wharf bar and restaurant, and he said he heard a big crack around midnight Saturday. It was the ice breaking, and the flood starting.

"It happened so quickly," he said. "It looked like a river flowing onto the dance floor."

Hyde said he knows he lost food and possibly appliances in the flood, but he can't get inside to assess the damage.

"The doors are frozen shut," he said.

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