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Isabel Delays, But Does Not Stop, U.S. Open
Sep 18, 2003, 2:04 PM

Hurricane Isabel has hit land, with the eye of the storm centered just south of Ocracoke Island, N.C., and about 70 miles southeast of Chesapeake, Va., the site of the currently-delayed U.S. Open. While the Chesapeake Conference Center, where the event is being held, has closed for the day, their outgoing phone message predicts that they will be open by tomorrow. Over 300,000 homes are without power across Virginia and North Carolina, but the Open’s official hotel, the nearby Holiday Inn, still has phone services and power. They’ve taped the windows, but haven’t seen the need to board them, and they have yet to see any serious flooding in the immediate area. The representative who answered the phone at the Holiday Inn sounded optimistic: "Everything’s supposed to be cleared up by tomorrow. Tomorrow’s the clean-up day, and then we’re supposed to have a beautiful weekend."

U.S. Open promoter Barry Behrman’s room, Q-Master Billiards, where there were tentative plans for a party today, is much closer to the coast, in Chesapeake Bay. CCN.com is reporting that the 16th street pier in Chesapeake Bay has been pulled into the sea by the rising storm surge. Q-Master Billiards had no electricity as of 1:30 EST, but the phones were working and the employee answering the phone was in good spirits. Asked about the conditions, he laughed, "Oh, it’s wet." The poolroom’s windows are taped, but not boarded, and the power outage has prevented them from holding any get-togethers. "[Q-Master’s] would be packed if the power was on right now. All we can do is wait at this point," Behrman said….

When it comes to the main event, Behrman is sticking to the plan: "[The U.S. Open is] closed today, but we’ll re-open tomorrow … We’ll be there at 10am at the Conference Center tomorrow morning."

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