Volume XI, Issue 39 ~ September 25 - October 1, 2003

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Isabel’s Mighty Punch Pales Against
the Power of Many Hands

Whether a hurricane or a tropical storm, Isabel reminds us again that Mother Nature can always trump our day-to-day concerns — work, school, the economy, combat in Iraq. Confronted with the full fury of Mother Nature, our lives quickly revert to those shared by humankind up until the last century. Television, telephone, electricity, refrigeration, even running water — all become obsolete with a flex of Mother Nature’s muscles.

People prepared for Isabel’s arrival up and down the Eastern Seaborad and throughout Chesapeake Country. Boarded-up windows at home and in storefronts. Full tanks of gasoline in our cars and water stocked up in bottles in our kitchen. Flashlights with new batteries and, hopefully, an old-fashioned telephone that doesn’t require juice from the power grid to function.

Many of us thought we were ready for Isabel, and maybe we were.

We at Bay Weekly watched the coming storm from early last week, well before Isabel’s landfall. Scheduled to hit Chesapeake Country late Thursday afternoon, the coming storm left just enough time for our drivers to pick up their papers and finish their deliveries before things got ugly.

When our computers went down with the power in southern Anne Arundel County around noon that Thursday, we unplugged them and moved them away from any windows. We divvied up our workload for the coming issue, which you now hold in your hands, and planned for the best.

We may not have gotten Mother Nature’s worst, but Isabel threw us a wallop of a punch, and she left thousands without those amenities we so take for granted. With no television, no telephone, no safe place but wherever you’re already hunkered down, time swelled.

Come Friday morning, as we emerged from our homes to survey the storm’s damage, we found our neighbors doing the same, and the company, the camaraderie, the community kept us outside, working together to recover.

We found our office in Deale without power, as was the case for so many people along the Bay. Late Sunday there was still no juice at our office and varying reports as to when to expect the return of electricity.

Some businesses in similar situations closed shop. Not so with a newspaper, even a community weekly like Bay Weekly. The show must go on, and so it did Monday morning as we hooked up our computers at the Annapolis home of general manager Alex Knoll, where power remained throughout Isabel.

The space was tight, especially when all eight staffers crammed into a couple rooms already cluttered due to home renovations. Add to the mix two toddlers gleeful at all the company, a sitter and the contractor hammering and sawing away in the next room. Given the circumstances, you might wonder how any work got done at all. The same could be true for the many businesses flooded by the storm’s surge, or even the roads and power lines once cluttered with fallen trees.



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Last updated September 25, 2003 @ 12:57am