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Large ice disk forms in Maine before being destroyed against river banks

Ice disk in Maine destroyed by the banks of the river
An ice disk formed in a river in Milo, Maine, and as it moved downstream it was destroyed by the banks of the river. (Courtesy of Blaine Chadwick)

A huge ice disk formed in a river in Milo, Maine, and moved downstream until it was destroyed by the banks of the river Tuesday morning.

Blaine Chadwick captured the whole drama on his drone.

Chadwick is well known in the small town of Milo for the drone shots that he posts on his website and Facebook page, 3Rivers Unmanned Aerial Services. Milo is in central Maine, about 140 miles northeast of Portland.

Louise Rhoda, who lives in a house near where the disk formed overnight, called Chadwick around 8 a.m. to notify him of the disk, he said.

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Chadwick raced to where the Sebec River turns into the Piscataquis River and saw a circular sheet of floating ice so huge that it spanned the length of the river, he said.

After shooting some video of the ice disk spinning counterclockwise in place, Chadwick decided to head home.

“I had everything packed up, and I looked up and, Oh my gosh, it was moving,” Chadwick said. “I’m so happy [Rhoda] called me.”

He quickly unpacked his drone, threw in a new battery, and got it up in the air. He followed the disk as it moved about 100 feet down the river, where the banks start to close in and the river gets thinner. The ice disk was too wide across to fit, but the river’s current continued to push it.

The ice disk broke apart as the current pushed it against the banks of the river.
The ice disk broke apart as the current pushed it against the banks of the river.Blaine Chadwick, 3Rivers Unmanned Aerial Services

The ice disk “ground itself into nothing [and] crunched itself to death“ along the sides of the river, creating a loud sound of cracking ice, Chadwick said.

“The sound was amazing,” he said. “I wish I could do sound on a drone.”

This is the first ice disk that Chadwick has seen, but it’s not the first in Maine to mesmerize the public. In November, an ice disk was caught on video in Haynesville in northern Maine. In January, an ice disk in Westbrook just outside of Portland became so popular police had to beg spectators not to venture out onto the disk.

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Chadwick said the attention this ice disk has received is overwhelming but said he enjoyed the experience of capturing the disk’s short life.

“They’re gorgeous — and great pieces of nature’s work,” Chadwick said.

Maria Lovato can be reached at maria.lovato@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @maria_lovato99.