Bracing for Hurricane Florence, with memories of Isabel in 2003

Bracing for Hurricane Florence, with memories of Isabel in 2003. (ABC7)

With Hurricane Florence churning toward North Carolina, people are remembering the historic surge of water Hurricane Isabel brought to the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River 15 years ago.

The fear in waterfront communities is a surge on top of already flooding high tides.

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley remembers when downtown Annapolis was under water in 2003.

“My worst fear is an Isabel-like situation,” Buckley said.

In the 15 years since Isabel, Buckley says flooding has occurred far more regularly.

And after days of rain and high tides even before Florence, flooding has hit many areas in Maryland, including Crisfield on the lower Eastern Shore and Dewey Beach on the Atlantic Coast.

In Virginia, along the Potomac in Old Town Alexandria, store owners and residents know that heavy rain or high tides can flood their shops at any time.

Ryan Lamy owns a hot dog shop on Dock Street in Annapolis. He says he now finds water in his shop as many as three times a month, including Tuesday when the morning tide flooded his restaurant with six inches of water.

He says he feels more vulnerable than ever to a storm.

“We’ll rent a U-Haul and get all the equipment out,” he says. “We’ve done it before.”

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