Monthly Archives: October 2012

Ocean City experiences minimal effects of Hurricane Sandy

Since before sunrise, Town of Ocean City employees have been working to assess the damage throughout town to determine the effects of Hurricane Sandy.  With no known damage to the boardwalk, the results of the initial assessment included anticipated beach erosion and flooding, marginal debris and severe damage to the Ocean City Fishing Pier.  Employees for the Town of Ocean City have been working diligently to clear storm related debris and return regularly scheduled city services.

 

Emergency personnel not only responded to calls during the storm, but continued to assist residents and visitors upon their return to Ocean City.  In addition, they worked closely with the Maryland State Highway Association, the Maryland State Police, the US Coast Guard and the National Guard to make sure the town was safe for citizens to return. Public Works staff assisted in picking up debris, transporting citizens to and from shelters and cleaning up the beach.  Not to mention, countless employees and volunteers who worked around the clock monitoring the Hurricane, staffing the Emergency Operations Center and meeting the needs of the residents, businesses and visitors before, during and after the storm.
Residents should be reminded that trash pick-up will resume Thursday, November 1.  Trash is scheduled to be picked up on Thursday, November 1, for those who are normally receive pick-up on Monday and Friday, November 2, for those who normally receive pick-up on Tuesday.   In addition, the Mayor and City Council approved to allow Public Works employees to perform storm related debris pickup.  Those who wish to discard storm related debris can place storm related debris on the curb, where citizens normally place trash (out of the way of driveways, street ways and fire hydrants) and Public Works employees will conduct pickup through 5 p.m. on November 6.

 

The Town of Ocean City wants to thank the residents, businesses and visitors for following the advice of the officials and heeding the warning of the storm.  Due to the preparedness of the citizens and the employees, the Ocean City community experienced zero storm related injuries and minimal city-wide damage.

Town of Ocean City employees working to restore city, assess damage

Town of Ocean City and Maryland State Highway officials have opened Coastal Highway at 17th Street south to North Division.  In addition, the Route 50 bridge is now open to all traffic.  Residents and businesses who wish to discard storm related debris can place debris on the curb, where citizens normally place trash (out of the way of driveways, street ways and fire hydrants) and Public Works employees will conduct pickup through 5 p.m. on November 6.  In addition, the Transportation Department has returned to their normal winter schedule and is providing service to non-restricted areas.

Citizens should remember that power failures have extinguished traffic lights around the state.  Motorists are reminded of the states non-functioning traffic light law.  A driver approaching a non-functioning traffic control signal from any diction at an intersection shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, before entering any crosswalk; or before entering the intersection. 

After stopping, the driver must yield to any vehicle or pedestrian in the intersection and remain stopped until it is safe to enter and continue through the intersection. If two vehicles approach an intersection without a traffic control device or with a non-functioning traffic control signal from different roadways at the same time, there is motor vehicle law that applies. In this situation, the driver on the left must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on his or her immediate right. For more information about the non-functioning traffic light law, visit: http://www.mdsp.org/

Transportation is being provided to citizens who were relocated to area shelters and returning them to Ocean City. Residents should be reminded that trash pick up will resume Thursday, November 1.  Trash is scheduled to be picked up on Thursday, November 1, for those who are normally receive pick-up on Monday and Friday, November 2, for those who normally receive pick-up on Tuesday.   

Currently, there is no need for volunteer services, however; if you wish to call with questions, inquiries or concerns you may contact the Communications Office at 410.289.8967.  If you have a question or concern about the changes in your trash collection, please contact the Public Works Department during business hours at 410.524.7715.  In addition, those who wish to receive more information for the offered transportation services my call Ocean City Transportation at 410.723.1606 or Shore Transit at 443.260.2300.  

The next scheduled update is expected at approximately 5 p.m. today.

 

Town of Ocean City employees working to restore city, assess damage

Ocean City has already begun to assess the damage throughout town to determine the effects of Hurricane Sandy in the area.  Expected flooding in the downtown area resulted in the closure of the Route 50 Bridge, which has remained closed since Saturday, October 28.  Due to high wind, the Route 90 bridge was closed temporarily last night, however; is open at this time.  Residents, businesses owners and visitors can enter Ocean City through Route 90, although access south of 62ndStreet remains closed.  The beaches will remain closed until further notice.

The United States Coast Guard has restricted all access to the bay, with the exception of emergency and rescue boats.  Currently, Town of Ocean City employees are working with the Maryland State Highway Association to assess damage to the downtown area and determine when it is safe to re-open the area.  According to Delmarva Power, the two circuits that were preemptively de-energized yesterday in the downtown area have been restored.  

Initial reports of damage indicate severe loss of the Ocean City Fishing Pier and an impaired light pole which fell, temporarily blocking the entrance to the Public Work Department.  Since yesterday, October 30, Ocean City emergency personnel responded to 231 calls for service and relocated approximately 49 citizens during the storm. 

Town of Ocean City employees are working diligently with partnering agencies to complete the mandated damage assessment to allow residents and businesses into the downtown area as soon as possible.  Currently, there is no need for volunteer services, however; if you wish to call with questions, inquiries or concerns you may contact the Communications Office at 410.289.8967. 

The next scheduled update is expected at approximately 1 p.m. today. 

A media briefing has been scheduled for 4 p.m. today.

Route 90 bridge being closed to non-emergency vehicles, Storm conditions worsening

Due to increasing winds and rain, the Route 90 Bridge will be closed at 5 p.m. to all non-emergency traffic until further notice.  For those residents and visitors who have chosen not to evacuate, Ocean City Emergency Services is advising to shelter in place by remaining where you are for the duration of the storm. 

Citizens should stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows or glass doors.  Also, Emergency Services officials are requesting citizens stay off the roadway as conditions are expected to worsen.  Remember to keep curtains and blinds closed, close all interior doors and secure and brace external doors.  Also, it’s important for residents and visitors to not be fooled if there is a lull in the storm, as it could be the eye of the storm and winds could pick up again.  If necessary, take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level. 

At this time the storm is expected to be at its worse between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. today, with estimated sustained winds at 40-50 mph with possible gusts reaching hurricane strength.  Approximately 10 inches of rain is expected, which will result in severe flooding in low lying areas when combined with the storm and tidal surges. 

During the storm, the Town of Ocean City will be posting storm related information on various websites, social media outlets, through the GovDelivery system and the television access channel.  Citizens are asked to tune into Ocean City’s Government Access Channel (4 & 15) for further detailed information or advisories.  To subscribe to GovDelivery, visit the “City Wide Alerts” tab on the Town of Ocean City’s website at http://oceancitymd.gov. Residents with questions or concerns can contact 410.289.8967.

 The next scheduled update is expected at approximately 9 a.m. tomorrow, October 30, unless needed.

A media briefing has been scheduled for 10 a.m. tomorrow, October 30.

Town of Ocean City Transportation services stopped, Police closing roads south of 62nd Street

The Town of Ocean City has now stopped transportation services.  Due to severe flooding in the downtown area, Ocean City police will be beginning a hard road closure south of 62nd Street immediately.  Residents and visitors who did not voluntarily evacuate and wish to do so can utilize the Convention Center or Northside Park as transfer areas.  The Town of Ocean City will provide transportation from those locations to designated Worcester County shelters. 

Delmarva Power has informed Town of Ocean City officials that they are taking proactive actions in order to protect the Ocean City electric grid, two circuits.  Power will be turned off in all areas south of 2nd Street to the inlet and oceanside locations south of 11th Street between the Boardwalk and Baltimore Avenue.  The Town of Ocean City will continue to update citizens of utility outages as frequently as possible.

During the storm, the Town of Ocean City will be posting storm related information on various websites, social media outlets, through the GovDelivery system and the television access channel.  Citizens are asked to tune into Ocean City’s Government Access Channel (4 & 15) for further detailed information or advisories.  To subscribe to GovDelivery, visit the “City Wide Alerts” tab on the Town of Ocean City’s website at http://oceancitymd.gov. Residents with questions or concerns can contact 410.289.8967.

 

The next scheduled update is expected at approximately 3 p.m. today October 29.

Town of Ocean City monitoring path of Hurricane Sandy, Storm updates provided on various outlets

Ocean City, MD – Ocean City Emergency Services is continuing to monitor the projected path of Hurricane Sandy.  Currently, the storm is expected to be in the Ocean City area during the evening hours of Sunday, October 28, and is projected to last through Tuesday, October 30.  High winds and large amounts of rain are likely, which may lead to flooding and possible power outages.

During the storm, the Town of Ocean City will be posting storm related information on various websites, social media outlets and through the GovDelivery system.  In an effort to keep citizens informed with the most updated and accurate information, the Town of Ocean City will be posting storm related information on the following outlets:

  • Town of Ocean City Alerts via GovDelivery:  subscribe to GovDelivery, visit the “City Wide Alerts” tab on the Town of Ocean City’s website at http://oceancitymd.gov.
  • Town of Ocean City Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TownOfOceanCity
  • Town of Ocean City Twitter: @townofoceancity
  • Town of Ocean City Access Channels 4 & 15
  • Emergency Management Hotline: 410-723-6666
  • Town of Ocean City website:  www.oceancitymd.gov
  • AM 1670 Advisory Radio Station

Throughout the storm, the Town of Ocean City’s Emergency Services personnel will be working closely with local and state representatives to provide citizens with timely, accurate and essential information.  The Town of Ocean City encourages residents and business owners to begin to prepare for any impact the storm may have on Ocean City.  To begin preparing, citizens should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.  For more information regarding storm preparedness, please visit: http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

 

OC Man Arrested For Assault With A Handgun

On October 20, 2012, Ocean City Police responded to 13324 Ocean Drive, in reference to a

Michael Joseph Ellingsen

Michael Joseph Ellingsen

weapons violation that occurred during a domestic argument between a father and son.

Police arrived at the scene and met the victim who identified the suspect as Michael Joseph Ellingsen, 24, of Ocean City. Officers determined prior to their arrival at the scene that Michael Ellingsen and his father (victim) had been engaged in a heated verbal argument in the living room of the house. During the argument; Michael Ellingsen went to his bedroom, retrieved a loaded handgun, returned to the living room and pointed the weapon at his father. Ellingsen threaten to shoot his father, placing his father in fear of his life. Ellingsen returned to his bedroom with the handgun. The victim confronted Ellingsen, retrieved the handgun, and secured the handgun in the residence prior to police arrival.

During the on-scene investigation, officer seized the handgun. The suspect was arrested and charged with:

  • 1st Degree Assault (felony)
  • 2nd Degree Assault (misdemeanor)
  • Use of a firearm in the commission of a felony
  • Reckless Endangerment

Michael Ellingsen was seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner and was released on his own recognizance

 

Halloween will soon be upon us this year and the Ocean City Police wants to remind citizens to have a great time, however remember to be safe.

The Ocean City Police Department recommends these simple tips for a safe Halloween:

  • Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
  • If you’re impaired, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
  • If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement.
  • And remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the following:

Going trick-or-treating?

S


Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

A

Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

F

Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

E

Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

   
H

Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don’t run from house to house.

A

Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

L

Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.

L

Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

O

Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

W

Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

E

 

Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

E

Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Don’t stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

N

Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

 

 Expecting trick-or-treaters or party guests?

  • Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For party guests, offer a variety of fruits, vegetables, and cheeses.
  • Use party games and trick-or-treat time as an opportunity for kids to get their daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity.
  • Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could result in falls.
  • Keep candle-lit jack o’lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
  • Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.

Follow these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for everyone!

For more information on Halloween safety

 Halloween Food Safety

  • Party food safety advice from the manager of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Meat and Poultry HotlinHalloween Food Safety Tips

  • Steps to help your children have a safe Halloween, and tips for Halloween parties, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

     

Halloween Safety Tips

Stay safe this Halloween with safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

For further information and additional Halloween Safety Tips contact the Ocean City Police Departments Public Affairs Officer at: 410-723-6665 or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions web-site at: http://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at: http://www.ncmec.org/en_US/publications/NC89.pdf

Ocean City Police Continue to Collect Pounds of Unwanted Prescriptions During the DEA Sponsored “Operation Drug Take-Back”

During the weekend of September 29, 2012, the Ocean City Police Department as well as other area law enforcement agencies in Worcester County participated in the bi-annual Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) “Drug-Take-Back” program as part of the Fall National Drug Take Back Day.

The bi-annual event, which last took place in the spring 2012, is a federal program which unites the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) with state and local law enforcement to encourage citizens to properly dispose of their prescription drugs.

In the spring of 2011, “Operation Medicine Drop” yielded 26.5-pounds of medicine at the Ocean City location. Last week, Ocean City citizens deposited over 14-pounds of assorted unwanted prescription drugs in the Ocean City Police“Prescription Medicine Drop Box.” Together with other Worcester County agencies over 174-pounds of prescription drugs were recovered for disposal.

The late September event has resulted in Worcester County’s “Operation Medicine Drop” partner agencies and groups recovering approximately 379-pounds of unwanted, expired or unused prescription medications. Disposing of medication properly prevents the medication from entering our waterways and landfills.

The OCPD would like to thank everyone who participated in helping to properly dispose of the unwanted and/or unused drugs.

If anyone would like additional information regarding the safe and secure disposal of unwanted prescription medication, please contact the OCPD Public Affairs Office at: 410-723-6665. Citizens who wish to dispose of their unwanted medications can deposit the items at the OCPD drop box located in the lobby of the Public Safety Building, 6501 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Maryland.

Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino to Retire After 25 Years with Town of Ocean City

Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino is retiring after serving the Ocean City

Chief Bernadette A. DiPino

Chief Bernadette A. DiPino

community for 24 years with the Ocean City Police Department.  Chief DiPino, who is a fourth generation police officer, began her career in Ocean City in 1988, after three years with the Baltimore County Police Department. 

Chief DiPino worked her way meritoriously through the Ocean City Police Department’s rank structure, being promoted to PFC in 1993, to Sgt. in 1995, to Lt. in 1998 and to Acting Chief in 2002 and Chief of Police in 2003.  She earned a Bachelor of Art’s Degree from Salisbury State University in 1995 graduating with a 3.85 grade point average and in 2001 she graduated from the elite FBI National Academy’s 204th with a 4.0 grade point average.

She has worked in every division and on every shift in the Police Department. She served as a member of the Department’s Quick Response Team (S.W.A.T.), she is a certified police instructor in the state of Maryland and teaches many topics including firearms, defensive tactics and community policing. She has been awarded sixteen commendations and has been named Officer of the Year three times. In 2007, Chief DiPino was appointed by Governor O’Malley as the Regional Representative to the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions. She also serves on the Governor’s Emergency Management Advisory Council (GEMAC) and was appointed to the commission to study the death penalty.  Most recently, she was elected president of the Maryland Chiefs Association and was appointed to the executive committee for the International Chiefs of Police.    

“I have been honored and privileged to work with so many dedicated and professional individuals in the supportive community of Ocean City,” said Chief DiPino.  The people I have worked with over the last 10 years as chief and last 24 with the OCPD have allowed me to grow and gain valuable experience. I am most proud of the officers in this agency and the command staff which I’ve appointed over the years. They are more than capable of leading and managing this department without me.”

Chief DiPino has accepted a job as the Chief of Police of the Sarasota, Florida Police Department.  “I am leaving the department with mixed emotions- excitement about a new opportunity and challenge in beautiful Sarasota, Florida, but heartfelt sadness because I will miss the department, the officers, and the citizens with whom I’ve developed so many lasting friendships. I’d like to thank all the citizens, business’, and law enforcement partners who have supported me and the OCPD over the years. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to serve this community.”