Md. Governor Visits Somerset County to Assess Sandy Damage
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley discusses the impact of Hurricane Sandy with nurses at the McCready Foundation in Crisfield. (Photo: WBOC)
CRISFIELD, Md.- The damage Hurricane Sandy left behind in parts of Somerset County caught Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's attention.
On Wednesday, the governor toured the area with Crisfield Mayor P. J Purnell. Together, they visited the Depot, flooded neighborhoods and the McCready Foundation.
"We've been in touch with Janet Napolitano and Homeland Security and also with President Obama and has assured every governor that we need to cut through the red tape and take care of people's needs right away," O'Malley said, as he assessed the damage to the dock.
The community continues to reel from the damage that the storm left behind, where a common sight was the presence of power companies seen fixing overhead lines and people trying to figure out how to get water out of their homes.
O'Malley also stopped at Washington High School in Princess Anne. The school is a temporary shelter for those displaced by Sandy. That is where Christina Nauman is staying with her husband and her three young children.
"They want to play and do their thing and you've got to keep an eye on them," she said, "and you are already stressed out because you don't know what's going on with your house and you don't know where you are going to be tomorrow."
Briantae Whittington said seeing the governor at the shelter gave her hope that elected officials are doing whatever they can to help people like her get back into their homes. However, she said dealing with the stress of the aftermath has not been easy.
"It's my first time ever going through this and being that my son has autism has been frustrating for him as well, because he doesn't like change," Whittington said.
Frustrations were obvious among those trying to get back to normal but some people said they are not losing hope.
O'Malley said that because of Obama's pre-landfall declaration of emergency, some aid has already arrived on the Eastern Shore. He said that after the hurricane, it is now a recovery mission which means it is a process that he said would take time when it comes to providing basic needs to people such as food, water and shelter.
Allen Sommers said he had a big mess to deal with as 3 feet of water gushed into his house.
"I kind of knew it was going to come into this house; I just didn't know it would be this bad," Sommers said.
A local cemetery was the scene of a few caskets completely lifted from the ground.
"I've put them in the ground before but I've never had to rebury them after they went in the ground," said Billy-Jean Swift who owns a landscaping business in Crisfield.
Swift said if he is asked, then he is willing to help put the caskets back to rest.
"Put the tops off the vault, get the casket out and re-pump the vault itself," Swift explained, "and then put them back in and reseal the vault."
Mayor Purnell said it will take volunteers from the community to help rebury the caskets.
Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:49 PM EDT2014-07-23 19:49:09 GMT
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