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East Coast storms turn Memorial Day weekend dangerous

Much of that devastation had been repaired when Sunday’s storm struck, Kittleman added, and more than 90 percent of its businesses had reopened.

A resident, Isabelle Levine, worried in an interview that this wouldn’t happen again.

“If Old Ellicott City comes back after this, I will be amazed,” she said. “I would give up as a business owner.”

East Coast storms turn Memorial Day weekend dangerous
East Coast storms turn Memorial Day weekend dangerous

Across the Gulf Coast, meanwhile, residents were preparing for the worst of Alberto’s powerful winds and heavy rains to arrive Monday.

Jo Newton of Panama City said she was filling up sandbags “to hopefully keep the water from coming in my front door.”

“I’m actually terrified of the amount of rain that is predicted to come in,” she said.

The storm’s approach also triggered mandatory evacuations of some small, sparsely populated Gulf Coast barrier islands in one Florida county. The Florida Division of Emergency Management said in a statement Sunday that a mandatory evacuation has been issued in Franklin County for all barrier islands there and those in the county living directly on the coast in mobile homes or in recreation vehicle parks.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Sunday that such storms were “unpredictable,” but he appeared to be preparing for the worst.

On Saturday, he declared a state of emergency in 67 counties. More than 5,000 National Guard members were ready for deployment, while 165 state troopers were set to begin 12-hour shifts and dozens more had been assigned to “quick response” teams.

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