NEW FOR MONDAY: Wicked Storm Leads To Water Rescues In Berlin

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BERLIN — Perhaps no area was hit harder by the weekend’s ferocious storms than Berlin, where police and emergency services rescued numerous individuals trapped in disabled vehicles along the town’s flooded streets.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office">

Around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Berlin Police began to receive numerous 911 calls from individuals reporting they were trapped in vehicles that had become disabled in high water. Numerous police units were dispatched to streets all over town including Bay Street, Flower Street, West Street, Williams Street, North and South Main Street, Route 113 and Route 346.

Berlin Police officers made numerous water rescues of individuals from vehicles and removed them to safe locations. A shelter was opened up at Berlin Town Hall, which temporarily housed several individuals displaced by the storm. One Berlin Police vehicle became disabled and sustained severe damage in an attempt to get to stranded motorists on South Main Street.

Berlin Police then utilized an off-road tow truck and a log skidder from Cropper and Son Towing to facilitate several rescues. The water depth in some areas was four to five feet.

In one section of Route 113 south of Burley Street, several occupied vehicles were swept from the roadway by the swiftly moving water and only the recently installed guard rail prevented them from leaving the road and entering much deeper water.

The Berlin Police Department was assisted by the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP), the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department, the Berlin Fire Company, the Berlin Water Resources Department and the Ocean City Police Fire Department, which responded with a rescue boat.

In addition to assisting stranded motorists, the Berlin Police also received numerous calls reporting widespread power outages. In some areas, the power did not come back on until around mid-day on Sunday.

Main Street resident Adam Bandiere, his girlfriend and their two kids lost all their possessions in the storm, as the area of North Main Street where he lives was inundated with flood waters. He said this morning he is in need of help and is hoping for some assistance in removing all of his damaged furniture from his front yard to the dump. He can be reached at 410-303-7316.

The American Red Cross has put Bandiere and his family up at the Francis Scott Key until Wednesday and in the meantime he is trying to get his home back in livable condition.

The Dispatch will provide more information about the storm and its aftermath as it becomes available.