MDS not done with Sandy
Recovery continues in MarylandBy Emily Will Mennonite Disaster Service
CRISFIELD, Md. — Hazel Cropper, 74, is the world’s fastest crab picker. For years she’s pitted her nimble fingers against those of locals and outsiders in the National Hard Crab Derby, held annually in this Chesapeake Bay-side town.
Several times she’s broken her record speeds for extracting meat from steamed blue crabs.
Cropper hesitates, however, when asked if she’ll defend her title in the 2013 Labor Day contest, saying it depends on what God has in store for her. Since Hurricane Sandy blasted the town Oct. 29, little about the future seems certain.
Cropper’s two-story house, like most other Crisfield buildings, weathered major storms in the past — Hurricane Gloria in 1983, Isabel in 2003, Fred in 2009 and Irene in 2011.
Sandy was different. Its shifting cyclonic wind brought swift tide surges from all sides of the peninsula and inundated homes that had never before flooded, among them Cropper’s.
Her first floor had to be gutted, after which Mennonite Disaster Service workers helped mend it over a six-week period. March 11-15, volunteers from Metzler Mennonite Church in Lancaster County completed the work.
They replaced flooring and laid tiles in the bathroom and installed kitchen cabinets and baseboard.
Cropper can now move back into the home she’s owned since 1974, the home in which she and her husband raised five children.
MDS is working alongside other Christian and nonprofit groups in Crisfield in recovery efforts coordinated by Maryland’s Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.
Lutheran minister Phillip Huber, vice chair of Maryland VOAD, said the organization is focusing recovery efforts on
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