Some Eastern Shore communities flooded. And Garrett County in Western Maryland got more than two feet of heavy, wet snow, courtesy of Sandy.

More than 80 percent of Garrett's population had no power at one point as tree limbs — and entire trees — collapsed under the snow's weight and took out power lines. Nearlt half of Garrett was still without as of Friday morning.

The snow and lack of electricity have had a "tremendous impact" on businesses, said Nicole Christian, president and CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. Power had been restored by Thursday to the main commerce areas in Oakland, the county seat, and McHenry, a community at the north end of Deep Creek Lake, Christian said. But the more rural businesses are unable to open, she said.

Still, the economic effect of the storm could have been worse — it could have hit during a high point of the tourist season, Christian said. The fall color tours recently came to an end, she said.

"It's not peak season right now," she said.

It is peak crabbing season, though, particularly for female crabs. The men and women who make a living catching and selling Maryland's iconic crustaceans can lose a week to 10 days as a result of a big storm because they must pull their crab pots out beforehand and wait for debris to disperse afterward.

"It's disruptive," said Michael Luisi, assistant director at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' fisheries service.

The female-crab season is set to close Nov. 10. The state might extend it a few days to account for Sandy's effect, he said.

But, disruptive though Sandy was, Luisi figures the industry's main reaction to the storm is a sigh of relief that damage wasn't as bad here as it was farther north.

As for GM's White Marsh facility, employees shipped transmissions off to other company plants just before the storm, so the supply chain never faltered. With no damage or power outage to contend with, workers picked up Wednesday where they left off Monday, said Mary Ann Brown, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore County plant.

GM expected to make up for lost time by bringing workers in on Friday — a day when there's usually no production. Normally, manufacturing there runs four days a week, with workers pulling 10-hour shifts.

All in all, the storm's impact there was relatively low.

"Some employees lost power," Brown said. "I think [Sandy] was more difficult for them than it was for the business."

Baltimore Sun reporter Steve Kilar contributed to this article.

jhopkins@baltsun.com

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