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Crisfield Flooding Called Worst Since 1985; 2 Caskets Rise From Graves

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CRISFIELD, Md. (AP/WJZ) — Maryland’s southernmost town has been hit hard by superstorm Sandy. Residents of Crisfield on the Tangier Sound say they haven’t seen flooding this bad since Hurricane Gloria in 1985.

At a cemetery on North Somerset Avenue on Tuesday afternoon, two caskets had been forced out of their graves, their sides visible above the grass. Cement slabs that had covered the graves were dislodged.

On Cove Street, water was covering lawns and splashing against the front steps of houses. One house had a rowboat tied up but floating in the yard.

Troops from the National Guard were evacuating people from Somers Cove Apartments, a community of subsidized housing. Harold “Doc” Sterling says he lost power, heat and telephone service, and an inch of water crept into his home at one point.

Residents say that they haven’t seen flooding like this since Hurricane Gloria in 1985.

In Frederick, a low-lying section of a cemetery has flooded from waters rising from the Monocacy River, but cemetery officials say all the graves are secure.

Richard Cody, president of Resthaven Memorial Gardens, said Tuesday that about 50 to 60 graves are in the lower end of the cemetery that’s covered with water. He says the rest of the cemetery and its above-ground mausoleums are not affected.

Cody says flooding is a threat for the cemetery’s lower end in any major storm after the state reengineered a bridge over the river to also serve as a dam. The change was made decades ago.

Cody says the cemetery remains open for business and will host a service as scheduled on Wednesday.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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