Hurricane Sandy: Fishing pier toppled as Maryland battered

 

Ocean City, Maryland

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."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'