Seddef Everest had been looking forward to touring Baltimore this weekend with her boyfriend, Dan McDole, who was visiting from Queens.
But Hurricane Irene struck, shutting down the water taxi and making other destinations seem uninviting to the fourth-year medical student, who is doing a rotation at St. Agnes Hospital.
"It kind of put a damper on things," said Everest, while she and McDole watched the weather through the doorway of The Point, a restaurant and bar on Thames Street.
They weren't the only people whose plans were substantially altered.
Sue and Jack Furman of Williamsport, Pa., had planned to celebrate their 34th wedding anniversary Saturday by watching the New York Yankees at Camden Yards with their three children and their spouses — all of whom also have August anniversaries. But after the double-header was rained out, the family, who arrived in Baltimore Friday night, went to the Cheesecake Factory instead.
Gary Lessner and Theresa Ketchum were supposed to be camping in Assateague but instead spent the weekend in town. The pair, who live in Upper Fells Point, rode their bikes down to Woody's Rum Bar Saturday afternoon and were enjoying the view from the deck on Thames Street.
"We didn't want to sit in the house," Ketchum said.
Lessner, an avid cyclist, said he had been biking around the city since about 6 a.m. Saturday and had posted photos to Twitter of various ways residents and business owners were guarding against the potential of rising waters — sandbags, tarps, spray foam, duct tape. During Tropical Storm Isabel, he also rode around in the rain surveying people's preparations.
"Seems like the city's a little more prepared than before," Lessner said. "I think people are a little more prepared as well."
Candace Beattie, owner of the Thames Street Oyster House, said her family took the impending threat seriously. Just weeks after she finished rehabbing the gutted building and had pulled down the plywood covering the windows, her father, brother and friends helped her put it back up again.
They also moved all the bar's food and supplies from the basement to the third floor, rented a generator and piled sandbags in front of the doorway.
"We'd rather be safe than sorry," she said. "We don't want to have close for business for days for repairs."
University of Maryland Baltimore County students began moving into dormitories well before Hurricane Irene's fury swept through the area, and while many said their moves were worry-free, others complained that talk about potentially hazardous conditions took its stressful toll.
"It's been hectic, to say the least, with all the advisories and people telling you what to do," said freshman Kody Wong, of Baltimore, who began watching weather alerts on Saturday morning. "But it's still the excitement of moving into college. I'm not going to let the hurricane bother me."
Students began moving in on Friday at 3 p.m., and residential life director Katie Boone said that many of the students who moved in at that time were from out of state. Saturday's move was slated solely for first-year students, she said, and lasted from 8 am to 3 p.m.
Some Welcome Week activities, which were supposed to begin after students moved in, had been postponed. Boone said that the university had set up shelter plans for the dormitories, and that the school distributed about 2,500 plastic ponchos that it had previously stored for rain events.
Long Island resident Bruce Bezner's trip to Baltimore was marked by two significant events.
He and his two sons were sitting on the tarmac in New York on Tuesday, on their way to see the New York Yankees play at Camden Yards, when the earthquake struck. Then the Saturday double-header was rained out.
"We came down during an earthquake, and we're here during a hurricane," he said, while killing time in the Pratt Street Pavilion of Harborplace.
"And we'll probably be leaving in a tornado," said his son Jacob, 13.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun