Podickory Point Cleans Up After Irene
Boaters were largely spared but a massive cleanup was underway Sunday where trees crashed and debris fell.
They were hoping for the best at Podickory Point Yacht and Beach Club as Irene moved into the area. And while the boaters were largely spared, a massive cleanup was underway Sunday just around the corner where an elderly woman was jolted awake in the middle of the night when a large tree crashed into her bedroom.
Samina Cole was sound asleep in her one-story home on the corner of Harbor Drive and Tydings Road when a large tulip poplar came toppling down just after midnight, clipping off the corner of her house and coming to rest in her bedroom.
"I heard a noise and immediately felt things falling on my face," said a still visibly shaken Cole on Sunday afternoon as contractor Jim Amos worked to board up the hole and remove the sodden carpeting.
The sound of a chainsaw could be heard as neighbors helped clear away the large limbs that littered the backyard.
Cole figures her four-poster bed saved her life. The rail around the top kept the roof from crashing down on top of her.
"It was pitch black. I turned on the flashlight and just about passed out," she said, as she stood in the hallway in her bare feet and watched the cleanup efforts.
"The broken roof rafters were hanging over my bed," she added.
She pointed to another room where items from the damaged bedroom were stored.
"That big ceiling fan was hanging with a piece of drywall over my bed," she said.
She's lived in the house since 1983 and didn't experience any problems during Isabel eight years ago.
"This is the first time in my life I've had to face something like this," she said.
Meanwhile, her neighbors were dealing with clean-up issues of their own. The loss on the street included one jet ski, a dock, a chimney, a damaged roof, a smashed van and about a dozen trees down, according to neighbors' accounts. One uprooted tree was still sprawled across much of the roadway and several more could be seen laying sideways across lawns.
"Harbor Drive's a mess," summed up George Gauniel, as he pulled a chainsaw in a cart across the street to Cole's backyard.
He was surprised that other nearby neighborhoods got off lightly.
"We figured there was devastation everywhere, if you looked at Harbor Drive."
His wife, Kathy Gauniel, said the couple slept in the basement Saturday night.
With the wind and the rain howling, "It was scary."
On Sunday, with the sun back out and the damage control underway, she was planning a hurricane party.
Next door at the marina, boaters were counting themselves lucky that earlier predictions of a damaging storm surge never materialized. One boater lost his isinglass in the wind, but others came to check on their boats reported no damage.
"We did well ... all things considered," said a relieved Eric Binebrink, as he unloaded his rods and fishing gear from his truck onto a dock cart to put them back on board his 29-foot Wellcraft.
On Saturday, the marina's beach looked more like Ocean City than bay shoreline with the crashing waves. Sunday afternoon, water gently lapped the shore.
Nigel Hayes, smoking a cigar and strolling with his two children and a friend, looked out over the calm water toward the Baltimore Harbor Lighthouse. His only loss was a decoy owl he uses to keep birds off his fishing boat.
"I think we're very lucky. It could have been a whole lot worse," he said.