I've always associated the name "Sandy" with intelligent, well-spoken, thoughtful, friendly and attractive folks, who usually add value to my life.

In the case last week with Hurricane Sandy, not so much.

It is not known as to whether local municipal, county and state officials channeled the soothing calm of Lindsay Lohan, who tweeted last Sunday, "WHY is everyone in SUCH a panic about hurricane (i'm calling it Sally)? … Stop projecting negativity! Think positive and pray for peace."

Nevertheless, local officials worked toward safety. Schools and local government offices closed and the Carroll County Emergency Operations Center swung into action early to plan and stay on top of the storm, and kept citizens well-informed by way of the Carroll County Office of Public Safety Facebook page and @CarrollCoMD Twitter page.


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In Carroll, we do have a history of coping with natural disasters - snowstorms, floods, tornadoes and fires.

Maybe we're good at it because we have had lots of practice. We've noted here before how, on April 9 and 10, 1883, an entire section of Westminster, from John Street to Carroll Street to Main Street, burned to the ground.

On Feb. 19, 1893, a tornado destroyed the steeple at St. Paul's United Church of Christ at the corner of Green Street and Bond. And on June 19, 1952, at exactly 4:45 p.m., a storm destroyed the St. John's Roman Catholic Church steeple on Main Street.

More recently, on May 23, 1979, a tornado came through the same section of Westminster and caused a good bit of damage.

Hurricanes and flooding have also been a problem in Carroll County. Beginning June 21, 1972, some 13 inches of rain from Hurricane Agnes fell on Carroll in a 48-hour period, causing extensive flooding damage. In late September, 1975, Hurricane Eloise caused widespread flooding damage.

And we do have our extreme. A record drought in 2002 was followed in 2003 with one of Westminster's wettest years on record, surpassing a mark set in 1889. Precipitation in 2003 totaled 62.56 inches. From Feb. 15-18 along in that year, 28.2 inches of the wet stuff fell on Westminster in what has become to be known as "the President's Day Snowstorm."

On July 26, 2003, a sinkhole swallowed the Westminster intersection of West Green Street and Anchor Street. The 50-by-60-foot wide, 30-foot deep sinkhole occurred when a saturated opening deep in the ground weakened the intersection and caused the collapse.

Of course, 2003 was also the year in which it rained for 91.5 hours straight during Hurricane Isabel. In that storm, as many as 38,000 Carroll County citizens lost electric power Sept. 18 and 19.

So all things considered, Carroll County was happy to be spared the brunt of Hurricane Sandy. Still, for many residents, the storm left the mark of an unwelcome guest.

When he is not stocking-up with milk, bread and toilet paper at the grocery store, Kevin Dayhoff may be reached at kevindayhoff@gmail.com.