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Sandy's On Her Way
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October 29, 2012
Hurricane Sandy continued to make its way toward Maryland today, with an advance guard of high winds and heavy rains pushing through the region. WYPR’s news staff was out reporting on the storm today. Here’s Joel McCord.
With wind gusts reaching toward 50 miles an hour, Governor Martin O’Malley issued a dire prediction at a morning news conference.
“This is going to be a long haul. The days ahead are going to be very difficult. There will be people who die and are killed in this storm.”
And he urged Marylanders to stay off the roads.
“There are very dangerous conditions out there and we ask you not to put yourselves or your families in jeopardy and not to put our first responders in jeopardy by irresponsibly going out on the roads.”
The state shut down operations at the Port of Baltimore because of weather conditions and closed the Bay Bridge to traffic early in the afternoon because of high winds.
Meanwhile, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake closed down city government for today and Tuesday. She said the city’s 911 and 311 call centers are “fully operational.”
“911 is for emergencies only and we have extended 311 operations during the storm period. 2:37 Our fire and police are deployed throughout the city – we are ready and able to respond to any incident. All nine of our police districts are staffed – more than 2000 officers are working overnight.”
As the storm bore down on Maryland, residents made their own preparations. Crews at a Kent Island marina pulled as many boats as they could from the water and put them up on jack stands throughout the yard. The boats still in the water strained at their dock lines as the wind and tide rose. One boat snapped a bow line and pushed into the next slip.
Nearby, Jack Ringgold, a waterman from Dominion, sat in his pick-up truck, watching his work boat chafing at its lines.
"Well, so far, with this wind being off to the north right now, we’re making out pretty good. I mean as far as boat wise. Now, it’s supposed to come around tomorrow sometime around to the south pretty good, south southwest, so I don’t know what will happen then. Maybe that ‘ll drive that tide back up."
Fran Harker, assistant captain of the Bowley’s Quarters Volunteer Fire Department in Eastern Baltimore County, said that wind direction may help them as well.
Fire Captain Harker
“We’re expecting just heavy rains and winds to increase throughout the day for the next 24 hours; but unlike Isabel 9 years ago we’re not expecting flood events which completely changed Bowley’s Quarters.”
In Fells Point, customers crowded in to Kooper’s on Thames Street at lunch time. Manager Ron Klausner, said he was happy to see his customers – most of them from the neighborhood, enjoying the excitement.
“Our customers are our number one concern as well as our employees. So we’re going to make sure we’re doing it right. We’re keeping a track on the storm; almost on a minute by minute basis; just making sure everybody’s safe. That’s our biggest concern.”
Judging from reports, the worst is yet to come.
With the help of Mary Rose Madden, Karen Hosler, Art Buist and Fraser Smith, I'm Joel McCord for 88-1, WYPR.
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