The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

October 30, 2012

Md. experiences full variety of Sandy's wrath

— CRISFIELD, Md. (AP) — On Maryland's jagged coastline, hurricane-riled waves destroyed an iconic pier and floodwaters forced caskets from graves in a town famed for crabbing. In the mountainous western edges, 2 feet of snow snapped power lines, downed trees and left tractor-trailers jackknifed along an interstate.

The much-feared meet-up between Hurricane Sandy and a powerful wintry front had residents on opposite sides of the state dealing with very different types of cleanup on Tuesday. In terms of sheer destruction, other states fared worse on a day when the superstorm plagued a large swath of the eastern U.S. But in Maryland the dueling disasters strained emergency resources and illustrated extremes in weather that rarely coincide.

Steve Zubrick, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said it's unusual to see a tropical storm and a blizzard on the same map at the same time — much less in the same state.

"There's some meteorologists whose dream of the 'perfect storm' is a hurricane going into an Arctic high-pressure system and creating a huge snowstorm," said Zubrick of the service's Baltimore-Washington forecast office in Sterling, Va. "On the map (Monday), you had the hurricane symbol on the map and you could see the blizzard warnings out in the west. They were very close to each other, relatively speaking. Just to see that on one map is pretty impressive. I probably won't see that again."

Hundreds of people were displaced from their homes by floodwaters in the resort town of Ocean City and in Crisfield, a community known as "the crab capital of the world." In westernmost Garrett County, nearly three-quarters of the residents lost power because of the blizzard and a mountainous stretch of highway was closed for hours.

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