The storm that dumped heavy amounts of snow in some nearby states roared into Delaware today, bringing rain that was heavy at time, and high winds. The combination of precipitation, wind, and tides brought some flooding to coastal areas of the state.
As early as Tuesday afternoon, state and county emergency agencies were urging residents in areas that experience flooding during coastal storms to begin moving to higher ground. The major concern continues to be flooding and high winds. National Weather Service forecasters warn that some snow could make its way into Delaware Wednesday night, and continue as a mix of snow and rain early Thursday, then changing to rain by afternoon.
There is still strong concern about the high winds that will continue in the area, as well as possible flooding along the Atlantic coast, Delaware Bay and in back bay communities. A Coastal Flood Warning remains in effect until 8am Thursday for Kent and Sussex Counties, with a Winter Weather Advisory posted until 6am Thursday in New Castle and Kent Counties. And a Wind Advisory continues until midnight Wednesday night in Kent and Sussex Counties.
The Charter School of Wilmington was closed on Wednesday, and the Cape Henlopen, Indian River, and Sussex Tech school districts dismissed students early. As many as nine school districts across the state cancelled afternoon and evening activities.
A small number of roads in all three counties were closed due to flooding, most notably Route 1 between Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach was closed in both directions after waves breached a dune north of the Indian River Inlet Bridge and covered the roadway with water. Primehook Road was closed for a short period Wednesday morning when water made the road impassable. An alternate route in and out of Prime Hook was closed at 7pm. Afternoon departures on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry were cancelled. In Maryland, officials closed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge briefly Wednesday afternoon due to high winds, but later re-opened it to passenger vehicles only. Trucks and other large vehicles are being re-routed.
By late afternoon (5pm), under 6,300 power outages were reported across the state, most of which were in Sussex County. Crews from Delmarva Power and the Delaware Electric Cooperative are working to restore power to affected areas.
Kent and Sussex Counties activated their Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) at 4pm. The state EOC was activated at 6pm, and is staffed by Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) personnel and select representatives from other agencies.