Hurricane Sandy: Fishing pier toppled as Maryland battered
Hurricane Sandy arrived in this coastal resort town with the roar that was expected on Monday, as towering waves snapped a fishing pier, rain and seawater inundated city streets and officials shut down both major bridges that normally carry thousands of visitors to beaches and hotels in the summer months.
City officials and residents compared the storm to Hurricane Gloria in 1985, when the area's scenic boardwalk was destroyed and had to be rebuilt. Since then, the city has installed a seawall and dunes, so property damage was not expected to be as significant.
Still, damage from the powerful storm was evident across the city. A section of its fishing pier, about 150 feet long, that extends over the Atlantic was toppled by towering, surging waves. The pier had last been significantly damaged in the late 1970s, officials said.
Along the boardwalk, heavy metal benches had been ripped from their mountings and sea debris was everywhere, on the boardwalk and beyond, indicating that waves had crashed into beachfront buildings and homes. The lower stories of many low-lying buildings, most of them unoccupied, were flooded.
Police closed both the Route 90 and the lower-lying Route 50 bridge and also blocked off about half the streets of the city, essentially the city's entire lower, southern half, which is more prone to flooding.
Police were called to rescue 35 people as of Monday afternoon, according to city spokeswoman Jessica Waters. No one had died or been seriously injured, officials said.
"The community has listened to what we've asked them to do," said Joe Theobald, director of emergency services.
About 200 residents remain in the city's most flood-prone areas, officials say, despite an earlier mandatory evacuation.
Mike Strawley, 70, trudged around lower Ocean City in full rain gear during a break from the howling wind, which gusted to 65 mph Monday afternoon. Water flooded a road and reached window levels at some homes. Strawley had lost power in his house but, luckily enough, hadn't flooded.
Strawley has been in Ocean City his whole life. He has yet to be chased away by a storm and did not regret his decision to stay. "It is what it is," he said. "You can't change it."
Brothers Newton and David Weaver were also among the holdouts. Newton, 60, said their grandfather was among the original inhabitants of the town, and they, too, said it would take much more to force them to leave.
"You live down here, it's a part of life," he said. He had filled up on water for toilets, ordered several pizzas the night before the storm, and had plenty of batteries and flashlights.
Many parts of the Chesapeake Bay side of the city were impassable, as water from the bay inundated city streets.
What worried the Weavers and others is not what had already come, despite nearly seven feet of water, but what was expected: a full moon, high tide and rain that was expected to bring severe flooding overnight and into Tuesday morning.
"It's kind of frightening," he said. "There could be a real tidal surge."
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Zayn Malik gives first interview since quitting One Direction: 'I've never felt more in control of my life'
Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...