An Annapolis monument that focuses on the ecology as well as the history of Chesapeake Bay did not escape Friday’s flooding.
An Annapolis, Md. Landmark that focuses on the ecology as well as the history of the Chesapeake Bay did not escape the flooding on Friday.
Alice Estrada, President and CEO of the Annapolis Maritime Museum, said, âWe are as prone to flooding as downtown City Dock, so when they flood, we flood as well. “
The museum is located along Back Creek in Eastport and by mid-afternoon there was up to 6 inches of water in parts of the building.
âWe are prone to flooding, so we designed our exhibits on wheels,â Estrada said. This way the exhibits could be moved to higher ground when needed.
The flooding was all the more unwelcome given that the museum had carried out million dollar renovations in the past year.
âWe’re going to need a lot of cleanup and we’re going to need some financial help,â Estrada said.
The museum is also home to skipjack Wilma Lee, and Estrada said the captain planned to spend Friday night monitoring conditions.
Estrada said the museum, a popular venue for a number of functions due to its location on Back Creek, also had to cancel two events this weekend – a wedding and another pre-wedding party. Estrada hated to disappoint the people who booked the events, but said, âFrankly, there’s no way to get into our building. There is a back door which is accessible, but you better have good waterproof boots.
Museums are dedicated to documenting history, and Estrada took the opportunity on a Friday afternoon to call in Jay Fleming, a local photographer.
âHe’s an accomplished photographer from Chesapeake Bay, and we asked him to document this moment because this flooding is so significant,â Estrada said.
Fleming is a member of the museum’s board and has a new book released in november called “Island Life”, which focuses on two communities shaped by the Chesapeake Bay: Tangier and the Smith Islands.
Fleming visited the museum after paddling his kayak through the streets of downtown Annapolis.
– Jay Fleming (@JayFlemingPhoto) October 29, 2021
When he arrived at the museum, Fleming said: âThe waves were breaking on the quay; there were actually a few waves crashing over the doors and under the pier. It was pretty nasty.
Fleming saw a lot of flooding in downtown Annapolis, but some people in town told him they weren’t used to seeing flooding like Friday’s so frequently.
âThe worst storm I can remember was Hurricane Isabel in 2003,â Fleming said.
Fleming’s passion for documenting the people, ecology and history of the Chesapeake Bay is evident in his photographs and in his conversation.
âThe museum is actually an old oyster shelling house, which is really neat,â Fleming said. “It was the last oyster shelling and seafood packaging company to close in Annapolis.”
While flooding is a part of the lives of people who live near any body of water, especially tidal waters like Chesapeake Bay, Fleming said people should have incredible respect for the ‘water.
âYou have to be careful how close you are to the water,â and he added, âObviously, when you’re on the water, conditions like this can be life-threatening.â