Md. mayor recalls damage of Irene 6 years later

WASHINGTON — As Tropical Storm Harvey continues to pummel Texas with rain, Sunday marked the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Irene making landfall in North Carolina.

That storm eventually made its way north toward the D.C., area.

“We were definitely scared. I remember that,” Pat Mahoney, mayor of Chesapeake Beach, in Calvert County, told WTOP.

“We were so fearful that the storm was going to come up the Bay and really do some demolition that we haven’t seen since the ’50s,” he said.

Luckily, the storm tracked to the east, going through Ocean City instead.

Irene was a Category 3 hurricane at its peak, but had weakened to a Category 1 storm when it made landfall.

Chesapeake Beach and neighboring North Beach saw some flooding and power was out in some parts of the area for several days.

Mahoney said that he enjoys going to the breakers in North Beach to watch the large waves strike the rocks there.

“When you live here and this comes, you really realize who’s in charge and that’s the good Lord and Mother Nature,” Mahoney said.

He said Chesapeake Beach got lucky with Irene.

“We got off easy in terms of destruction,” Mahoney stated. “The flooding came and went.”

The mayor called Irene the second-worst storm he has seen in recent years.

“The worst one I’ve seen since I’ve been here is in ’03 — Isabel,” Mahoney said.

That storm had been a Category 5 hurricane, making landfall in North Carolina as a Category 2 storm. That storm tracked north into Virginia, passing west of D.C.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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