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Storm damage limited in Ocean City, Md.

Brittany Thompson wades across Worcester Street in Ocean City, one of many spots flooded by the storm.
Brittany Thompson wades across Worcester Street in Ocean City, one of many spots flooded by the storm. (Laura Emmons/associated Press)
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By Frank D. Roylance
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wind and waves from the powerful northeaster that pummeled the Mid-Atlantic coast last week ate away as much as a quarter of Ocean City's dune line. The sand will have to be replaced, but the man-made storm barrier did its job, city officials said.

Other than street flooding and minor wind damage, the resort appears to have weathered the worst of the storm.

"There were no instances of ocean water anywhere west of the dune line, and no damage that we can see from the ocean to any property along the oceanfront," Mayor Rick Meehan said. "We do have a beach maintenance project scheduled for 2010," he said. "I'm sure that project will increase a bit in scope as a result of this storm."

Elsewhere, high tides and as much as eight inches of rain flooded streams and closed roads in Southern Maryland and the state's Lower Eastern Shore. Emergency managers were watching closely in Crisfield and Cambridge, where high tides late Friday and early Saturday threatened more flooding.

Numerous roads were underwater in Dorchester and Somerset counties. "People are accustomed to this," said Wayne Robinson, Dorchester's emergency management director. "This is probably the worst since Isabel [in 2003], but three feet lower than Isabel."

Although some basements and garages flooded, no structural damage, injuries or evacuations were reported in Maryland. On Friday morning, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency deactivated its emergency operations center in Reisterstown.

"We fared well," agency spokesman Ed McDonough said. "We pretty well dodged a bullet on this."

Intensified by the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida, the big coastal storm lingered, pounding the Atlantic coast from the Carolinas to New Jersey.

Flooding closed streets and bridges along the coast. The storm cut power to 155,000 customers in Virginia and North Carolina. Three motorists died in weather-related crashes in Virginia. In St. Mary's County, flooding closed the bridge to St. George's Island, stranding residents, McDonough said.

Streets at the south end of Ocean City were under six to 10 inches of water, and officials closed St. Louis and Philadelphia avenues south of 12th Street. Baltimore Avenue, normally one-way northbound, was opened to two-way traffic to preserve access to the Route 50 bridge. The Route 90 bridge at 62nd Street is closed for repairs.

To the north, storm tides penetrated the dunes between Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach, Del., leaving as much as three feet of sand and water on the Coastal Highway. The cleanup will begin Sunday, state officials said.

-- Baltimore Sun


© 2009 The Washington Post Company

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