Video Shows Moment Record-High Tide Washed Away Historic Fishing Shack

(Public/Screenshot/YouTube/Associated Press)

John Oyewale Contributor
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A record high tide swept three historic fishing shacks out to sea off the coast of southern Maine on Saturday, video shows.

Strong waves lashed Willard Beach in South Portland as the shacks slipped out to sea and bystanders appeared to take photographs or videos, the video shows. The shacks graced the landscape since the 1800s and formed the backdrop of many wedding party photographs through the years, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

“Oh no, they’re both going. Oh no!” a voice could be heard saying in the video.

“It’s truly a sad day for the community and the residents of South Portland. History is just being washed away,” South Portland local Michelle Erskine, whose voice it was, told The AP. Her son’s senior photos reportedly were taken with the shacks in the background.

Another local described the landmarks as “silent keepers watching over us” and bemoaned their loss as “a ghost of what could have been here,” News Center Maine reported.

Also, a 14.57-foot (4.4-meter) high tide was recorded amid recent stormy weather in Portland, the highest ever recorded there since 1912 when the measurements were first taken, shattering the previous record-high tide of 14.17 feet (4.3 meters) back in 1978 when two of the shacks were destroyed, The AP noted. (RELATED: Eight Hospitalized, Beaches Closed As Hellish Waves Pound US Coastline)

The City of South Portland reportedly repainted the shacks only three months earlier. City Manager Scott Morelli and Mayor Misha Pride mourned the loss as “a sad time” in a statement.

“The Shacks were a symbol of South Portland’s long fishing history, which dates back to the early 1700s. They were a trusty presence up on the point. We could count on them for a pretty picture… Many of us have special memories connected to those shacks,” the statement read in part.

The waves swept the pieces of the shacks back to the beach, The AP reported in the video.

The South Portland Historical Society appeared to have envisaged the loss, saying in a statement it had recruited architects and engineers last year to draw images and take the dimensions of the shacks as they could be lost in a storm at some point and calling for donations towards reconstructing the shacks.