Pending Winter Storm Will Bring Coastal Flooding

(Smyrna) – A pending winter storm that is expected to arrive in Delaware on Tuesday evening and impact the state as late as Thursday, will bring heavy precipitation and flooding.  Officials at the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) join with officials in New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties in advising residents in flood-prone communities to be aware of potential flooding, and consider relocating in advance of the storm’s arrival.

No evacuations have been ordered, however residents in areas of Kent and Sussex Counties that experience flooding during coastal storms should consider moving to higher ground prior to the arrival of possible snowfall, heavy rains, and extremely high winds.  Those areas are almost certain to experience flooding during the pending weather event, and conditions during the height of the storm could make the process of leaving flooded areas dangerous or impossible.

The National Weather Service has already posted High Wind, Coastal Flood, and Winter Storm Watches, with heavy precipitation in the form of rain, snow, or a combination of both, and winds 25 MPH to 35 MPH, with gusts up to 55 MPH. Wind-swollen tides in some areas could reach as much as seven feet above mean lower low water.  Forecasters say the flooding from this storm could be comparable to that experienced during Hurricanes Irene or Sandy.

Of primary concern are the coastal communities in Sussex County along the Delaware Bay, including Prime Hook and Broadkill Beach, along inland bays in areas such as Angola and Oak Orchard.  Residents in those areas should be prepared to relocate before the storm arrives.  Kent County residents of Big Stone Beach, Bennetts Park, South Bowers Beach, Bowers Beach, Kitts Hummock, Pickering Beach, and Woodland Beach should also leave those areas before the rain and high winds make movement difficult or dangerous.

While the Coastal Flood Watch does not extend to New Castle County, residents of areas such as Bay View Beach, Augustine Beach, Delaware City and the City of New Castle where flooding has previously been experienced, should be alert to conditions and ready to move as well.



CONTACT: Gary Laing (DEMA)   Office  (302) 659-2210    Cell  (302) 233-4576

Chip Guy (Sussex County)     Office  (302) 858-0505

Debra Jones (Sussex County)     Office  (302) 855-7801

Kia Evans (Kent County)     Office  (302) 744-2304

Melody Kitchen (New Castle County)     Office  (302) 395-5117