Even with a flood still nipping at the Valley Tavern's doors, the regulars came knocking.
Locals are accustomed to grabbing a cup of coffee or - if you're a third-shift worker - a beer early in the morning at the Seven Valleys bar and restaurant. It's the type of place that shuts down only in the wee hours.
So, Doug Wagner said, he wasn't surprised to see customers arrive Tuesday before Hurricane Sandy had finished making a small pond of the low-lying York County borough.
"We had a few that pulled in at 8 a.m.," said Wagner, whose parents own the bar.
In Seven Valleys, one of the more vulnerable areas of York County, residents expect the Codorus Creek to crest its banks and flood into town when powerful storms roll through.
But emergency responders said they were pleasantly surprised at the lack of calls for help while Sandy raged overnight.
Asked what had kept firefighters busy Monday, Seven Valleys Fire Chief Jim Beil thought for moment, then called out to a firefighter nearby.
"Did we have anything last night?" Beil asked.
Even by Tuesday afternoon, the company had been called to help just one home pump out a flooded basement, he said.
Other than one call to rescue a woman from her stalled car Monday evening, the night was also uneventful for the borough's Tri-Community Ambulance volunteers.
Ambulance Captain Dave Meiler credited residents with heeding warnings of a potentially devastating storm.
"People paid attention," he said.
Using the tavern's Facebook page, Wagner kept customers and others informed about the borough's fate as the water rose throughout the day. His time-stamped photos chronicle a flood that threatened the tavern, homes and nearby fire company.
"A lot of people always ask," Wagner, 28, said. "We're one of the first ones to know when the water's coming up."
Unlike the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee - which pushed six inches of water into the bar last year - Sandy spared the Valley Tavern. Only about 16 inches of water, half as much as last year, got into the town's fire station, Beil said.
Missi McLaren, who's lived in the borough for about four years, said she watched Tropical Storm Lee turn borough streets into a current of water last year. This time, it wasn't as bad, she said.
In Seven Valleys, residents simply accept that floods are going to happen from time to time, McLaren said.
"They don't freak out about it because ... there's nothing we can do about it," she said.
- Erin James may also be reached at email@example.com.