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Maryland National Guard Sgt. Zachary Greene holds a Bible for Harold 'Doc' Sterling as he prepares to climb the ladder into a National Guard truck Tuesday in Crisfield, Md.
Alex Brandon/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Date published: 10/31/2012
CRISFIELD, Md.--Maryland's southernmost town bills itself as the "crab capital of the world." Tucked into a remote corner of the lower Eastern Shore, Crisfield--population 2,723--owes its existence to the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay. Of its 3 square miles, 46 percent are water.
In the wake of superstorm Sandy, that percentage ticked upward, and hundreds of residents were forced to evacuate after what they called the worst flooding since Hurricane Gloria in 1985.
Brian Beckley, a 32-year-old handyman, said he saw "whitecaps going down Main Street" before he and his mother left their two-story home, built in 1882, on Monday afternoon. He lamented that people might forget about his small town with so much attention on the damage in New York and New Jersey.
"Where's the help after this is over?" he said.
Early Tuesday afternoon, at a cemetery on North Somerset Avenue, two caskets--one silver and the other bronze--had been forced out of their graves, their sides visible above the grass.
On Cove Street, water was covering lawns and splashing against the front steps of houses. One home decorated for Halloween had water soaking small ghost and Frankenstein decorations in the yard, and at the house across the street, a rowboat was tied up but floating in the yard. Fallen trees brought down some power lines.
Troops from the National Guard were evacuating people from Somers Cove Apartments, a community of subsidized housing. Streets in the area were flooded, and soldiers were loading residents onto the backs of trucks.
Harold "Doc" Sterling, who has lived in the area for 20 years, said about an inch of water crept into his home. He lost power Monday afternoon along with his heat and telephone service.
"I stayed awake most of the night," he said.
A National Guardsman held Sterling's Bible as he climbed a ladder into a waiting truck with about 10 others.
Lloyd Tyler, executive director of the Somers Cove Marina, said about 250 boats were in the marina for the storm. He said he drove through streets with 16 to 20 inches of water to get there on Tuesday.
"The tide is all over Crisfield," Tyler said.
Still, Tyler said he felt