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Sandy Blows Through Maryland
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October 30, 2012
Hurricane Sandy blew through Maryland yesterday, leaving in her wake a mess not as bad as it could have been, but bad enough for those who lost power or whose homes were flooded. WYPR’s Joel McCord reports.
Joel McCord: In his morning news briefing Governor Martin O’Malley said Marylanders were fortunate to be “on the kinder end of this very violent storm.”
Martin O’Malley “So, we prepared for the worst, we were spared having to endure the worst, but as the power outages stand right now, there are 308,000 of our citizens without power. The good news on that is the utility crews were out there at dawn today.”
McCord Utility officials had warned early on that they would not be able to risk putting repair crews in bucket trucks in high winds, but those winds died down early today.
One outage at a sewage treatment plant in Howard County spilled more than 20 million gallons of raw sewage into the Little Patuxent River near Savage. Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said the power went out about 11 P.M. Monday and was restored by 11:30 this morning.
Ken Ulman “I’m glad it’s back on, but I’ve ordered a full audit as to how this happened and what we can do to prevent this from every happening again.”
McCord Ulman said the spill will not affect local drinking water supplies, which come from a separate source.
About a dozen streets remained closed because of flooding in Prince George’s County, most of them in Laurel. Water nearly filled overpasses in Upper Marlboro, the county seat.
As the storm moved north into Pennsylvania, officials turned their attention to potential flooding of the Susquehanna River. But Bob Summers, Maryland Secretary of Environment, said it may not be all that bad.
Bob Summers “This is not expected to be anything like what we saw last fall in terms of flooding on the Susquehanna River. This will not be one of those floods that’s in the record books”
On the lower east side of Baltimore county, Bowley’s Quarters Road, the only way in and out of the peninsula for 3,000 people, was under about a foot of water at high tide this morning. That may not be so bad, but Lieutenant Max King of the Bowley’s Quarters Volunteer Fire Department said it could be worse at high tide tonight.
Lt Max King “The issue with that is: there are a lot of houses that just escaped it coming to their fist floor this morning that it may get to tonight, if that happens.”
McCord In Annapolis, Bonnie Scoville and her husband, H. road out the storm in their Cape Dory sailboat, tied to a mooring ball in the harbor. She said they’re cruising sailors, headed south for the winter, and had nowhere else to go.
Bonnie Scoville “These are really good moorings out there and we were relatively protected because of the direction. We just got the gusts; we didn’t get any real big waves, which is good. Yeah, we just rode it out.”
McCord While much of Central Maryland remained drenched, Western Maryland was digging out from under two digging out from under two feet of snow. Monty Pagenhardt, the Garrett County administrator told WYPR’s Dan Rodricks on Mid-Day he had never seen anything like this.
MONTY PAGENHARDT ”This is a mess. We’re going to be three or four days cleaning up. A lot of roads, at least the county roads, are one way. We think we have most of them open by now. But when this stuff starts melting, when it gets up in the 40s or 50s, we still have a lot of leaves on the trees and they’re going to be down in the gutters and the flooding’s going to be a big problem. So we’ve got a long haul for the next four or five days.”
McCord With the storm still working its way inland, it could be a long haul for most of the East Coast.
With Gwendolyn Glen, Karen Hosler and Art Buist, I’m Joel McCord reporting for 88.1, WYPR.
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