As many of you know, Maine was hit with two powerful, back-to-back storms in the past week that brought high winds, waves and a record storm surge to the coast. Damage to many communities from flooding, coastal erosion and wave action has been severe; homes and businesses have been damaged or destroyed.
Hog Island has not been spared. The first storm on Tuesday flooded the mainland boathouse and lifted it off its foundation, washed out and tore away the deck and walkway to the mainland pier, lifted the Queen Mary pier from its footings, peeled roofing back from the Bridge porch and caused serious erosion near some of the staff cabins like the Quarterdeck. Saturday’s storm, which coincided with an astronomical high tide, produced the highest storm surge on record in some places, flooding parts of Damariscotta and other waterfront communities.
Facilities manager Eric Snyder was able to get out to the island in the wake of the second storm and found, to his relief, that there was little additional damage. The Queen Mary, which FOHI in 2022 paid $300,000 to raise up three feet, remained above the waves, and while the Quarterdeck will need stabilization before camp, it didn’t fall into the ocean. A septic pipe separated, but Eric says that’s a minor fix, and the damage to the Queen Mary pier is not as serious as first feared.
As always, FOHI stands ready to help Audubon as needed to bring the camp back to full operation, but we expect this will be a major, complex job. Many local FOHI volunteers have already been lending a hand, and a great deal more work than usual will be needed before camp opens. As soon as Eric Snyder and the NAS staff have a plan, and we know exactly how FOHI can help, we will let our members know. For those that are ready and waiting to help, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Adam Dinuovo (see buttons below).