PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Plenty of Pittsburghers head to the beaches of Ocean City, Md., every summer. SuperStorm Sandy may have hit New Jersey and New York the hardest, but Ocean City got hit as well.

Jim Mathias is currently a Maryland State Senator and is the former mayor of Ocean City. He grew up there and is a self-professed “beach bum.”

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Mathias told KDKA Radio’s Bill Rehkopf: “We were very fortunate.”

Though they did lose a part of the famous pier, Mathias said, “The pier is back in order; the beaches are great; the amusements are open. I was down there today; I can smell the caramel popcorn.”

There’s been some boardwalk construction, but Mathias says, “This is [a] world-class boardwalk.”

He added that there are some new additions this year, including restaurants, rides, games, shops and new development along and near the boardwalk.

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Mathias knows that Ocean City is a destination for Pittsburghers and welcomes them.

Even though he is a Baltimore football fan, he says, “We do love those Pittsburgh folks.”

He says it’s a great place for Pittsburghers whether or not they come down for a few days or a week or two to “refresh, to re-nourish and renew.”

Mathias says Ocean City’s hotels and people are ready, calling on Pittsburghers to “come see us in Ocean City; we appreciate your being here and spending time with us.”

Listen to the KDKA Afternoon News with Bill Rehkopf every weekday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.

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