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Famous flood photo remade by police officer's family 50 years later

No deaths were recorded from the Cambridge flood but it did cause an estimated $6.7 million in property damage, the equivalent of $39.5 million today

This article was published previously on BradfordToday and InnisfilToday affiliate CambridgeToday.

It's arguably the most recognizable photo in Cambridge's history.

Police officer Jack Shuttleworth was seen standing on the corner of Dickson Street and Ainslie Street, arms crossed and waist deep in water during the May 17, 1974 Cambridge flood, when a photographer snapped the shot from the farmers' market building across the street.

As the 50th anniversary approached, the Shuttleworth family gathered recently to remake and discuss the photo.

"I can't imagine it's been 50 years," Lorraine Shuttleworth, Jack's wife, said as she stood on the sidewalk.

"I just remember he didn't get home until midnight and was gone since seven in the morning. I knew there was a flood but I stayed away from it.

The reason behind why Shuttleworth, who has since died, was standing on the corner remains unknown.

Some say there was an uncovered manhole just off the edge of the sidewalk he was tasked with guarding to keep people from falling in.

Others say he was manning the pharmacy storefront against potential looters, although it's believed it had been vacant before the flood happened.

Lorraine said she heard he was in the area to hand out candles to people in apartments above the businesses and was stopping to catch his breath, but she never did ask.

Regardless of why he was there, he was one of many emergency service members called to duty on that day.

Shuttleworth rarely shared stories about the day that changed the city, in fact, he never understood the big deal behind the photo.

"He wasn't a man that talked that much to start with," Lorraine said.

"He wouldn't have been here today if he was alive, I can tell you that. He said he was only doing his job. He doesn't want that publicity."

Despite her husband wanting to stay out of the spotlight, Lorraine and their two daughters Brenda and Linda and son Ron would like to see a permanent reminder on the street corner.

It was a project their other son, Jim, was working on before he died.

"I would like something put on this corner and my son who passed away was in the midst of trying to do something about it," Lorraine said.

"I think there should be something there after all these years."

No deaths were recorded from the flood but it did cause an estimated $6.7 million in property damage, the equivalent of $39.5 million today.

"It was a watershed moment for the City of Cambridge in that a lot of change took place as a result," Ray Martin, vice-chair of the Fire Hall Museum and Education Centre, said recently.

"For example, we now have the flood walls and they designed the parks as part of what is now a city wide trail system. We have emergency planning that we didn't have before. They created an emergency preparedness plan for the entire watershed."

Lorraine hopes others remember and honour the work people did to help each other in a time of need.

"It's a very long time," Lorraine said of the 50 years that have passed.

"We're quite proud."