Governor Markell issues limited state of emergency, mandatory evacuation order to include residents in areas most at risk


Wilmington, DE – Governor Jack Markell has ordered a mandatory evacuation of coastal communities for Sussex, Kent and New Castle counties, along with a flood-prone area in western Sussex County.

Under the Governor’s order, the mandatory evacuation period for people to leave the designated evacuation areas will begin tonight, Saturday, October 27, at 8 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. tomorrow, Sunday, October 28. Due to the increasingly severe weather conditions that are forecast to begin late tomorrow night, Sunday at 8 p.m. should be the end of evacuees’ travel period, not the beginning.

To facilitate the mandatory evacuation, a limited state of emergency will begin statewide at 8 p.m. tonight, Saturday, October 27. The state of emergency that will begin tonight does not include any driving restrictions or bans, nor does it require business closures. Those measures, should they become necessary, will be announced as storm progresses and conditions worsen.

“While the predicted track of Hurricane Sandy has shifted a number of times over the last 24 hours, it has become clear that the state will be affected by high winds, heavy rainfall, and flooding, especially along the coastline for a several day period. These factors, along with the potential for power outages, have convinced me that the prudent thing to do is have people leave most of our coastal communities,” Gov. Markell said.

Shelters in all three counties will open Sunday at noon for those who need them. Anyone needing the shelters should not evacuate their homes until noon on Sunday.

“Those who come to the shelters need to be aware that the shelters provide is space on a floor and some basic food. There are only cots for the elderly and those with special needs. People who evacuate to one of the shelters should bring sleeping bags, pillows and blankets, as well as books and games or other items to keep themselves and their families occupied,” said Jamie Turner, director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency.

Recommended evacuation routes can be found at Please note that it is recommended that those in Sussex ocean communities south of the Indian River Inlet travel west along major arteries (Routes 26 and 54) to U.S. 113 to leave the area rather than north on Route 1.

Residents who have evacuation questions may contact their respective local emergency operations centers:

§ Sussex EOC – 856-7366 starting Sunday at 8 a.m.
§ Kent EOC – 735-3465, starting Sunday at noon
§ New Castle County EOC – 395-5555 starting Sunday at noon
§ Wilmington EOC – 576-CITY starting Sunday at 9 a.m.

The Delaware Helpline at 1-800-464-HELP (4357) will also activate Sunday at 8 a.m. for hurricane information. The Hurricane Sandy Delaware Information Line is also available at 302-632-7060. Residents are encouraged to check-in on the elderly.

The areas subject to mandatory evacuation, which are based upon recommendations by county emergency directors, are listed below. Attached are maps for New Castle and Kent Counties showing the general area of evacuations, though the list below is more detailed. Also attached is a map generated by Sussex County of possible flooded areas.

Mayor Baker has announced separately an evacuation for flood-prone areas of the City of Wilmington.

Sussex County Delaware Bay Communities:

§ Slaughter Beach
§ Prime Hook Beach
§ Broadkill Beach
§ Lewes Beach, east of the Rehoboth Lewes canal

Sussex County Ocean Coastal Communities:

§ Flood-prone areas within ¾ of a mile of the coast in the following communities –
§ Henlopen Acres
§ Rehoboth Beach
§ Dewey Beach
§ North Bethany
§ Bethany Beach
§ South Bethany
§ Fenwick Island

Sussex County Inland Bay Communities:

§ Areas surrounding the Rehoboth Bay, Indian River and Little Assawoman Bay
§ Flood-prone areas south of Route 24 (John J. Williams Highway) including Angola, Long Neck and Oak Orchard
§ Flood-prone areas along Route 26 (Vines Creek Road and Atlantic Avenue)
§ Flood-prone areas along Route 54 (Lighthouse Road)

Sussex County Western Communities:

§ Flood-prone areas in close proximity to the Nanticoke and Broad Creek Rivers

Kent County Delaware Bay Communities:

§ Woodland Beach
§ Pickering Beach, including any homes east of 799 Pickering Beach Rd.
§ Kitts Hummock Beach, and all addresses above 2123 Kitts Hummock Rd.

§ Bowers Beach, including any homes east of Old Bowers Rd.
§ South Bowers Beach
§ Big Stone Beach
§ Bennetts Pier
§ Port Mahon Rd., any address above 900

New Castle County, City of New Castle:

§ Washington Park Subdivision
§ Dobbinsville
§ From the Delaware River to Fourth Street
§ Penn Valley subdivision
§ Buttonwood subdivision

New Castle County, City of Delaware City:

§ All houses east of Second Street
§ The 100 block of Fifth Street
§ All of Delaware City Mobile Home Park
§ All of Polktown

Other New Castle County Coastal Communities:

§ Town of Port Penn
§ Augustine Beach
§ Bayview Beach
§ Any residences South of Augustine Beach and East of Silver Run Road/Route 9

The state will open seven shelters at 12 noon on Sunday:

§ William Penn High School
§ Middletown High School
§ Smyrna Middle School
§ Dover High School
§ Milford Middle School
§ Cape Henlopen High School
§ Indian River High School

No decision has been made at this time about state government closure for Monday or Tuesday.