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Harford County bracing for Hurricane Joaquin

Posted: 7:47 AM, Oct 02, 2015
Updated: 2015-10-02 11:47:55Z
With the boating season giving way to storm season, Chip Paradis of Havre de Grace stopped off at the Tidewater Marina to pull his boat out just to be on the safe side.
 
"You don't know which path that the storm is going to take so if it comes up the bay like Isabel did, we get the storm surge or if the wind blows the water out of the river, one way or the other, you're going to be up too high or sitting on the bottom," Paradis said. 
 
 
It is a scene that has repeated itself here at the marina whether the vessels are large or small.
 
"Right now we have 30 on our list from this morning to haul out and the phone is still ringing,” said the marina’s general manager, Jeff Andrews. “And we're talking to people and we have people trying to decide... people that are deciding and we're just going to stay here and haul as long as we can."
 
A dozen years ago, strong waves and a storm surge from Tropical Storm Isabel destroyed boats and wiped out the promenade at nearby Tydings Park.
 
At Harford County's Emergency Operations Center in Forest Hill, they are monitoring the forecasts closely.
 
"What we're now focused on in addition to this rain event is what will Monday bring us.  Will Hurricane Joaquin come up the bay or will it take a different path?" said Emergency Services Director Edward Hopkins.
 
The forecasts haven't convinced charter boat Captain Bill Dix of the risks just yet.
 
"This is not the first time we've been through this and this model doesn't look nearly as bad as Sandy or other models,” Dix said. “As a matter of fact, I'm planning on working Saturday and on Sunday out on a sailboat with three or four customers."
 
And Dix even has classes of aspiring boaters scheduled to set sail Monday through Wednesday, but County Executive Barry Glassman cautions against taking these storms for granted.
 
"You never know.  They can change on a dime and what you thought was going to be a beautiful weekend can turn out to be a hurricane," Glassman said.
 
Whatever track the storm takes, emergency managers in Harford County say people should prepare for localized flooding, since the ground will be saturated after the steady rains expected to continue into the weekend.
 

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