'Even when it floods, it's still nice' in downtown Annapolis; Florence swirling over Carolinas

Rachael Pacella
Contact Reporterrpacella@capgaznews.com

The sun broke through from the clouds around 10 a.m. Saturday — rays bounced off the water in Ego Alley and filled City Dock with warmth.

Children fed ducks, boats pulled in and out of the alley, joggers dotted the sidewalks and, from a passing “pirate” ship, a child shouted, “Ahoy matey!”

Part of the parking lot at City Dock was flooded. Some water lapped onto the pavement at the end of Ego Alley, and dried sticks and litter from past minor floods covered the bricks. But those are familiar sights downtown.

“I guess it's just a typical late-summer Annapolis day,” Kent Island resident Holly Brownley said.

She, her husband Matt and their 10-month-old Calvin had come downtown to get some crepes and visit Starbucks, she said. Calvin, with Matt’s help, practiced bouncing up and down on one of the planters by the water.

When high tide hit Friday night, Annapolis police announced that Sixth, Compromise, Newman and Dock streets had to be closed because of minor flooding. But all were re-opened by early Saturday morning.

Florence, now a tropical storm, swirled at a near-standstill over the Carolinas on Saturday morning, dumping nonstop rain over areas already flooded by seawater, swelling rivers and creeks across both states.

At 5 p.m. Saturday, Florence stalled about 60 miles west of Myrtle Beach, moving forward at just 2 mph, with top sustained winds of 45 mph. So far 11 people have died.

A coastal flood advisory will remain in effect until 3 a.m. Sunday for the shoreline in Anne Arundel County, according to the National Weather Service. Tides could be a foot to a foot and a half above normal.

Tides will continue to be higher than normal through at least Tuesday, according to the forecast.

Heavy rainfall will be possible Sunday night into Tuesday, according to NWS, as Florence weakens and heads northeast as a tropical depression.

Mary Lynn Gabbard, of Annapolis, was downtown Saturday with Avery Moorman, of Texas, and her 1-year-old son Henry.

As the two walked with Henry in a stroller, a passing SUV waded through the inches of water in the parking lot, making a wake.

It wasn't a bother to Gabbard.

“Even when it floods, it’s still nice,” she said of downtown.

People in town to watch Navy football play Lehigh University walked around the city decked out in blue and gold shirts. A flyover scheduled for the 3:30 p.m. game was cancelled, Navy tweeted, because the squadron assigned to complete the flyover had to evacuate because of Florence.

In Eastport, the Annapolis Maritime Museum is making lemonade out of lemons — or, a cancelled fundraiser at least. Earlier this week, a forecast for rain and travel safety concerns caused the museum to cancel its annual Boatyard Beach Bash, originally scheduled for Saturday. They refunded tickets.

But when the weather turned for the better, they decided to throw a hurricane party instead, with a few members of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band. The bar for that event, being held at the museum, opened at 5 p.m. with the concert starting at 6 p.m.

“We were devastated to have to cancel the Boatyard Beach Bash fundraiser, but since Florence has decided to change course, we are regrouping with a fun event featuring a few of our Coral Reefer friends,” the museum says on its website.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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