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Weather shaded plans for holiday


Marylanders did not let the rain chase away all their plans for the Memorial Day weekend, the traditional beginning of summer.

The weather in Ocean City on Sunday, was great, a reward for those who didn't let forecasts of rain keep them from venturing to the resort. If that sunny weather had occurred Saturday and yesterday, businesses and officials probably would have been happier.

"The forecast just didn't pan out for us here. [Sunday] was absolutely beautiful. There was no rain, and it was sunny and just gorgeous weather. The people who came down had a good time, but some of them probably left early today because of the clouds," Donna Abbott, Ocean City's media services manager, said yesterday.

She said she expects the number of visitors will probably be down because many people thought the weather would be bad and stayed home.

"The weather got us a little. If we had a 90-degree forecast, this place would be busting at the seams," Ocean City Mayor Jim Mathias said.

Jay Hancock, spokesman for Ocean City police, said authorities encountered the usual number of noise and disorderly conduct problems for a holiday weekend. The most serious incident was a hit-and-run accident early Saturday morning on Coastal Highway, in which a pedestrian was killed. Alexander J. Alvarez, 23, of Bear, Del., was struck by a Honda Civic while trying to hail a taxi.

Police arrested Marcia Beth Horn, 20, of Hancock in western Maryland and charged her with vehicular manslaughter, driving while intoxicated and other violations. She was being held yesterday in Worcester County Jail, Hancock said.

Hours away from the beach, the mountains near Cumberland in Western Maryland also were hit by storms, but at the Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort the fairways were full of golfers during lulls in the rain, said general manager Chuck F. Inglasbee.

"We had a great weekend. The weather up here can be dramatically different. Mountains are a viable option [compared with] the ocean," he said.

Inglasbee estimated that 90 percent of the rooms at the resort were full for all three days.

At the Patapsco Valley State Park and at other state parks, campgrounds were "virtually full," Charles F. Porcari, of the state's Department of Natural Resources, said yesterday.

"Across Maryland," Porcari said, "people seemed to have a safe albeit soggy weekend."

Sun staff writers Lynn Anderson and Greg Garland contributed to this article.

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