A Portland man says he is fortunate to be alive after huge blocks of ice slid off the roof of a five-story building in the Old Port and pierced the front and rear windshields of his parked car Sunday.

Adam Sousa, 28, took a bus from Portland to Freeport on Sunday morning to attend a social gathering, and thought nothing of parking his car at a city meter on Exchange Street. On-street parking in Portland is free on Sundays.

But when Sousa returned Sunday afternoon, he was horrified to see his 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier had been destroyed when several chunks of ice fell through the front and rear windshields. The blocks were too heavy to lift and were about the size of an end table or small bureau. One chunk landed on the passenger side dashboard and almost reached the front passenger seat.

The brick building at the corner of Exchange and Fore streets is owned by well-known Portland landlord Joseph Soley, according to a Portland police spokesman. The building houses a general store, a psychic reader business, apartments and Bull Feeney’s, a popular Old Port bar and restaurant.

“Those icebergs went through my windshield. They could easily have killed someone, including me if I had been sitting in the car,” Sousa said while surveying the damage to his vehicle, which has about 80,000 miles on it. “When I parked there this morning, there were no warning signs or indications that people should use caution.”

Sousa has only liability auto insurance coverage and not comprehensive coverage, meaning his insurer won’t pay to repair his car or have it replaced. “They told me my insurance doesn’t cover an act of nature,” he said.


Sousa, who lives near Cheverus High School, relies on his car to get to and from his job at DiMillo’s waterfront restaurant, where he works as a bartender. Sousa said he’s in a jam because he doesn’t have a ride to work and lacks the financial resources to have his car repaired or replaced. His friends tried to comfort him as they stood near his crushed car late Sunday afternoon.

More icicles – many of them several feet long – still hung from the upper levels of the building Sunday night.

“Those chunks of ice could have killed someone,” said Robert Roy, who lived in the building until he moved out last October. Roy said falling chunks of ice were always a hazard during the three years that he lived there.

Portland police roped off the sidewalk in front of building.

“Things have been warming up and ice is falling,” Portland police Lt. Gary Hutcheson said.

Hutcheson said Soley will not be cited because the incident was “an act of nature.”


“It’s a public safety issue, but there is nothing we can do about it,” Hutcheson said.

Hutcheson said police tried to contact Soley on Sunday but could not reach him. Attempts by the Portland Press Herald to reach Soley also were unsuccessful.

The high temperature in Portland on Sunday was 35 degrees.


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