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Emergency Plan Helps Ocean City Bounce Back From Storm Damage

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Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene haven't kept Ocean City down.
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Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene haven't kept Ocean City down.

One year ago this week, Superstorm Sandy pounded the eastern seaboard, causing billions of dollars in damages. Officials in Ocean City, Md., have applied the lessons learned from near-miss storms into formulating a better plan for dealing with the storm that someday, may hit the resort head on.

A year ago, it was impossible to stand at the end of the iconic fishing pier in Ocean City. That's because it had been torn off and sucked out to sea by Superstorm Sandy.

Now, a year later, the pier looks better than ever, and massive storms like Sandy and Irene, which in back to back years looked as if they were going to wipe Ocean City off the map, are distant memories.

"I think having them back to back, even though I hope it never happens again, it did verify to us that the plan works," says Mayor Rick Meehan.

That plan is the city's emergency operation plan, which has been amended slightly after being put to the test during both storms, including and includes a full-on resort evacuation in 2011 during Hurricane Irene.

Meehan says the plan is stronger now, and if a hurricane hits Ocean City head on again, which he says is an unfortunate inevitability, the resort will be ready. He admits that, after living through more than his fair share of hurricanes and nor'easters, sometimes you need a little luck on your side too.

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