As Hurricane Isaias approaches the Baltimore region, people living along Chesapeake Bay in Middle River are preparing for what’s to come.
Susie Sudek owns a waterfront property on Bay Drive. She spent some of the day picking up debris in her yard.
“Most of the damage comes from debris floating. Almost all of us now pickup anything that can float," she said.
Sudek also tied down her boat and patio furniture. Those are some of the lessons she learned after Tropical Storm Isabel destroyed her property and many more in this area nearly 20 years ago.
“We had four and a half feet of water on the first level," she said. “Preparation is important. Before then, everybody was like oh you get water in your front yard. No big deal. You clean up the debris that floats up. Now, everybody picks up everything.”
Shannon Stalling is the Fire Chief at Bowley's Quarters Fire Department and Marine Emergency Team 21. Chief Stallings said he's also using lessons from Isabel to prepare for whatever Isaias brings.
“Isabel was the storm that we based all of our operations off of because its the worst we have ever seen," he said. “We know from experience through tropical storm Isabel several years ago that preparedness is the only way we can safely get everyone out of the community .”
He said the department has completed Phase One of their major storm operations plan, which includes getting their trucks and equipment ready to go.
It also means marking areas that are prone to flood. "One we want the residents to be able to see the water may be deeper than they think and two are responding personnel needs to know how deep the water is in these areas," he said.
As for Sudek, she's hoping it’s just another day on the bay, but is ready for whatever comes her way.
“We’re used to it. It’s just part of living on the water," she said. “I mean what are you going to do. You can’t stop it.”