Governor Jack Markell has declared a Limited State of Emergency in Sussex County, Delaware, effective immediately. State offices will remain open and no driving restrictions have been implemented. Drivers should be aware of localized road closures caused by high winds flooding.
In his Limited State of Emergency declaration, Governor Markell noted that state and local officials are taking the necessary steps to prepare for possible evacuations and road closures, though none have been ordered at this time.
Assets of the Delaware National Guard have been deployed to Kent and Sussex Counties to act in support of local efforts. Governor Markell also reminded residents of flood-prone areas to prepare for possible evacuation and to continue to monitor local media and messages from state and local agencies for updates.
The Delaware Emergency Operations Center is activated with a reduced staff, today, Friday, October 26, 2015; however additional staff are on standby and can be called in if needed. A Coastal Flood Warning will be in effect from 11:00 PM this evening to 7:00 AM Tuesday (October 6).
The National Weather Service says a high impact weather pattern is affecting our region today into Saturday. The main threats are major coastal flooding with heavy surf and beach erosion, as well as very strong winds along Atlantic coastal areas.
Moderate to major coastal flooding is expected today and tomorrow along the Atlantic coast, as well as along the lower Delaware Bay. In addition, moderate coastal flooding is expected on the upper Delaware Bay. Problems caused by coastal flooding are likely to continue into Sunday, but the threat of coastal flooding from Hurricane Joaquin has been greatly reduced by new forecast tracks that show the storm will move further out to sea.
High winds are accompanying our current storm, and winds along the coast tomorrow could gust up to 40-50 MPH. This will impact coastal areas, and moderate flooding is anticipated around the time of tonight’s high tide.
The strong northeast winds are expected to continue into at least Saturday, with wind gusts of 25 to 40 mph likely over inland locations, and wind gusts of 45+ mph possible in coastal areas. Additional rainfall of only one half inch to 2 inches is expected.
The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) says its crews have been working during the past 24 hours to remove debris along roadways, clear storm drains and grates to reduce the potential for flooding, and have placed portable signs in areas where roads are flooded.
DelDOT reports these roads are closed due to flooding:
Primehook Road closed in Milton
River Road closed in Oak Orchard
Front Street closed in Milford
Nanticoke Road – Water on roadway
Turn Point Road – Water on roadway
Inlet Road – Water on roadway
Mercer Avenue in Oak Orchard – Water on roadway
Old Cemetery Road near Route 1 -Water on roadway
Old Cemetery Road and Tubmill Pond Road – Water on roadway
Tubmill Pond Road – Water on roadway.
Market Street in Frederica – Water on roadway
Skeeter Neck Road – Water on roadway
Williamsville Road between Holly Hill Road and Blairs Pond Road – Water on roadway
Prospect Church Road, south of Route 14 – Water on roadway
Deep Grass Lane between Thistlewood Road and Williamsville Road – Water on roadway
Hills Market Road between Route 13 and Sugar Stick Road – Water on roadway
Andrewsville Road between Gallo Road and Prospect Church Road – Water on roadway
Allabands Mill Road between Todds Mill Road and Camden-Wyoming Avenue – Water on
Killens Pond Road, just north of Bloomfield Road – Water on roadway
South Bowers Beach Road at Webbs Cut-off – Water on roadway
Todds Chapel Road between Hickman Road and Fishers Bridge Road – Water on roadway
Hazlettville Road between Wyoming Mill Road and Artis Drive – Water on roadway
Big Stone Beach Road between New Wharf Road and Greenhouse Road – Water on roadway
New Wharf Road between Big Stone Road and Route 1 – Water on roadway
Deep Grass Lane between Williamsville Road and Rod Club Road – Water on roadway
Barkers Landing Road, just east of South State Street – Water on roadway
Cypress Branch Road, just north of Ponderosa Drive – Water on roadway
John Hurd Road between Spectrum Farms Road and Meredith Road – Water on roadway
DelDOT is also monitoring conditions along coastal highways such as Route 1 between Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach, and the Charles W. Cullen Bridge over the Indian River Inlet, and may close portions if necessary.
The speed limit on I-495 has been lowered to 55 MPH.
DART First State buses are on normal schedules statewide.
No large areas of power outages have been reported.
Officials from NASCAR and Dover International Speedway say that Friday activities at the track have been cancelled. A number of high school football, field hockey, and soccer games have been postponed. Fans should contact individual schools to determine the status of their games.
For information on school closures, log on to http://schoolclosings.delaware.gov/.