November 7, 2013
The disastrous flooding Hurricane Sandy brought to Maryland's coastal communities left a long road to recovery.
An expert in how communities rebound from large-scale disasters, University of Arizona sociology professor Brian Mayer is working to model the relationship between the resiliency of communities and individuals.
The Eastern Shore of Maryland, which lies predominantly on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay, has a centuries-old history of reliance on fishing, crabbing and oystering.
"The Eastern Shore area we're looking at are historic watermen towns. They've been there for 400 years, pretty much doing the same thing they're doing today and their vulnerability is quite high," said Mayer, who is teaming with Lynn Grattan from the University of Maryland on the $417,000 grant, part of an $8 million Health and Human Services project focused on long-term recovery.
A Washington Post report of the damage to Crisfield, one of the communities in Mayer's study, describes a city dock "pounded to smithereens," homes and businesses submerged and vehicles "bobbing like steel buoys in the streets."