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
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss