Tropical Storm Ophelia brought heavy rain, storm surges and strong winds up and down the East Coast this weekend, and Ocean City residents had a front-row seat to its effects.
The storm made landfall near a North Carolina barrier island Saturday morning with winds up to 70 miles per hour.
Around 100,000 customers lost power in North Carolina and Virginia as the storm pushed its way toward Maryland.
“The limb from my neighbor’s house had broke from their tree,” Richmond resident Doug Wright said. “It had broke their power line from the pole to the house and it snapped and pulled the pole over.”
Tropical storm warnings were issued in several states, including Maryland.
Terry Klinger was also in Ocean City trying to make the most of his vacation gone wrong.
“Just hope it don’t flood. That’s all,” he said. “Other than that, I’ve never been in a tropical storm.”
WJZ’s First Alert Weather team is predicting that the storm will bring high winds of up to 50 mph and heavy bands of rain to Maryland. The team projects that there will be coastal flooding.
“It’s not really new to us here in Ocean City,” business owner Jeb Vetock said. “We’re used to these tropical storms, hurricanes. We do a lot of preparation at our restaurants and hotels to get ready for this.”
On Friday night, patrons visiting Ocean City for the weekend filled the Wedge Bar as they awaited Ophelia’s arrival.
One woman said she would be heeding the warnings, though, and planned to return home to West Virginia a day earlier than expected.
“If it’s going to be crappy all day, then I just want to go ahead and go home,” Teresa Mcmahon said.
Some people walked the boardwalk and captured the beginning of the conditions of the storm. WJZ encountered visitors who said they intended to stay but had an evacuation plan in case there was chaos at the ocean waterfront.
“If it does get bad, we’re going to head out over the Route 50 bridge, go inland and go out 113,” Klinger said.