From Fells Point to Light Street, dozens of Baltimore business owners and managers worked furiously yesterday to clean up after Isabel and push their communities back to something like normal.
A few stores and restaurants largely dodged the flood and were already humming. For others, the comeback will take longer.
Christopher Rondholz spent most of the day carrying sopping boxes and soaked teddy bears from the dark, musty basement of his Fells Point children's store to a giant trash bin outside.
Rondholz said he lost thousands of dollars worth of inventory and sales. He hopes to reopen Great Bears children's store Wednesday.
Still, he considers himself lucky. If the water from Isabel had climbed out of the basement and into Rondholz's waterfront shop, he never would have recovered.
"If we had one more inch of water, I would have lost my store," he said.
Elsewhere along the waterfront, some disruptions were larger and appeared likely to last longer.
Two major harborside office buildings where hundreds normally work -- including the 12-story, 540,000-square-foot Candler Building and the 27-floor, 280,000-square-foot World Trade Center -- are expected to be closed into the workweek and possibly beyond.
Just up Pratt Street, two popular Power Plant tourist attractions -- ESPN Zone and Hard Rock Cafe -- remained closed yesterday.
But Barnes and Noble Booksellers entertained several shoppers, and families waited in line for tickets to the National Aquarium, which reopened yesterday.
"We really worked hard to get open today, as you can see we had a ways to go," Paula Schaedlich, deputy director of operations at the aquarium, said as she pointed to a picture of one entrance flooded with three feet of water after the storm.
In Fells Point, the Daily Grind coffeehouse and Sound Garden music store came out of the storm virtually unscathed and were open for business yesterday.
But the nearby 750-room Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, which lost power and hundreds of customers because of Isabel, remained closed, with employees hustling to reopen, possibly as early as midday today.
The Admiral's Cup restaurant and bar also was cleaning up and is likely to continue to do so until Friday. Three freezers, $5,000 to $7,000 worth of food, $2,500 worth of paper goods and 200 cases of beer were drenched when its basement flooded -- though water stayed out of the restaurant and bar.
The bar stayed open until 2 a.m. Friday, but it hasn't been open since.
"At about 3:30 [a.m.], we got crushed," said owner Doug Woods.
Businesses with offices in the Candler Building were making alternative arrangements for their workers yesterday.
Candler tenants include Sierra Military Health Services Inc., the Johns Hopkins University, Constellation Energy Group Inc. and Aon Corp.
Constellation moved its 350 to 400 workers in Candler to Owings Mills and other offices, as mapped out in the company's emergency back-up plans, spokesman Robert L. Gould said.
The World Trade Center, which houses public and private sector employees, won't reopen for at least a week because of flooding in the basement and a loss of power and phone service, said Darlene Frank, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Port Administration, which runs the building.
About 60 tenants -- which range from law firms to maritime industry businesses -- are being permitted into the building only to recover files. Their mail has been forwarded to the main post office on Fayette Street.
Elsewhere along the waterfront, restaurants were undergoing major cleanups, from ripping up floors to emptying freezers, before calling the health department for inspections that will allow them to reopen.
Victor's Cafe on Lancaster Street, which was hoping to open for lunch today, threw away between $8,000 and $9,000 worth of food, said owner Victor DiVivo.
Workers at Legal Sea Foods on Pratt Street, which was under three feet of water after the storm, were tearing up the carpet, wood and tile floors yesterday before drying out the restaurant and refurbishing it. Workers expected to have the restaurant open for lunch Friday.
"We're still pulling up pockets of water between the floors," said Jim Torrence, project manager for Disaster Restoration Solutions Inc., which was cleaning out the restaurant.
With 10 feet of water in the basement, Kalis Court has been closed since Thursday. The Fells Point restaurant lost thousands of dollars worth of inventory to floodwater.
Yesterday, the restaurant's owner, Vasilios Keramida, was waiting for remnants of water to dry before he called an electrician to restore power and the health department to inspect his property. He then headed to New York for fresh seafood and called local suppliers to restock the business.
"We have to open everything and dry it out, so we wait," said Keramida, who hoped to open his restaurant this week.