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Even Without Direct Hit, Ocean City Could Suffer Tremendous Damage From Hurricane Sandy

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WJZ general assignment reporter Mike Hellgren came to Maryland's News...
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OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ)– Hurricane Sandy is powering its way to the Mid-Atlantic region, and towns along Maryland’s shore ready for the worst. Ocean City businesses and homeowners are preparing for its wrath.

Mike Hellgren has more on the steps they’re taking.

Ocean City residents are watching the forecast closely and are not taking anything for granted.

A powerful massive storm like no other could be coming to Maryland’s coastline.

“It’s chasing me out of here,” said one resident. “That’s about as concerned as I am right now. I want to be a step ahead of it.”

Emergency management officials in Ocean City have tracked Hurricane Sandy for days. They will get extra tools for preparation and recovery now that the governor has declared a state of emergency.

“It’s common sense. Sustain yourselves for three days. Have your canned goods on hand. You know, chances are, you may lose power. You have to be able to deal with that. Make sure you have your medications. Have your car filled up with gas. You know, common sense,” Joe Theobald, the head of emergency operations in Ocean City, said.

Related Story: Emergency Plans Activated Across Md. As Hurricane Sandy Makes Its Way To The East Coast

It was beautiful on Saturday in Ocean City, but even if Sandy is not a direct hit, you can expect strong winds and waves coming off the Atlantic battering the coastline.

“I can’t imagine what it would do in this area. I see that they’re already starting to board some places up,” one resident said.

Related Story: Emergencies Declared Ahead Of Eastern Superstorm

The last hurricane to hit Ocean City was Irene in 2011. It moved quickly and did minimal damage. Sandy could stick around longer and do more damage.

Related Story: Md. Prepares As O’Malley Declares State Of Emergency Ahead Of Hurricane Sandy

“We’re going to experience some flooding in the downtown, low-lying areas. Very typical, something we’ve been seeing in the Nor’easter. We’re going to experience some beach erosion. Just depends on how long the storm is off our coast,” Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan said.

Experts estimate this storm could cause $1 billion in damage.

A full moon will bring higher tides and more flooding. Sustained high winds could knock out power for days.

Photo Gallery: Tracking Hurricane Sandy

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