By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Along the mid-Atlantic, this is the time of year when the odds go up for hurricanes and tropical storms. And in Maryland, that means it’s time to prepare, especially for the tens of thousands of boat owners in the state.

Alex DeMetrick reports, while the weather is nice, it’s time to get ready.

In the marinas around Bowley’s Quarters, memories are still fresh of what happened here eight years ago.

“It was pretty scary,” said Waterman Tony Conrad. “The water came up pretty quick. We thought it was all gone, and before you know it, it was up over the pier.”

The massive storm surge from the remnants of Hurricane Isabel, tossed boats out of the water or sank them at the dock. It was damage that came as a surprise to many and could again.

“Looking at the conditions as they are, won’t give you any indication of the severity of a storm approaching the shore,” said Captain Bob Davis, Natural Services Police.

The focus is usually on the coast and Ocean City. Here warnings to get ready have a certain immediacy, and for good reason.

But Natural Resources Police are asking boat owners in the Bay to prepare, making sure they have extra lines, and that bilge pumps are working and vessels can be sealed watertight.

“You may even want to consider pulling your boat; putting it on a trailer and moving it to a safer area,” Capt. Davis said. “Plan for the worst, and hope for the best.”

Because preparing before is the only option when the worst hits.

“Lines were tight,” Conrad explained. “Electrical outlets exposed. It was just unsafe and everyone wanted to get down to their boat, but there was electricity down here and you could get electrocuted. No pier was deep enough for that storm.”

Natural Resources Police say when a storm off the Atlantic threatens, boat owners should give themselves a minimum of 48 hours to secure vessels.


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