Remembering Agnes: ‘We really took a hit’

From The Record


The flooding in Harford and Cecil counties caused by Tropical Storm Agnes 40 years ago this week is considered among the worst of all time in both Harford and Cecil counties.  “That was the worst storm I can ever recall,” Wardell Stansbury, a lifelong resident of Havre de Grace and a member of the city council at the time, said. “I think we are better prepared to handle something like that if some kind of catastrophe comes around again.”

Donald “Benny” Poist, who was a Port Deposit resident, lived through Agnes. He became the town’s mayor in 1981.  Poist recently moved to Perryville with his wife – and to higher ground – following the latest floods from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Leelast summer and fall.  Poist said he lived on North Main Street at the time of Agnes. His wife had a drapery business that was flooded out, as was their home.

“We really took a hit,” he said, adding they had no flood insurance. “We knew the water was coming, but we did not think it would be as bad as it was, and when it [the water] went down, it left a couple feet of mud in the basements.”  Poist said they waited until there was about a foot of water in the house, then sent their children to higher ground.

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