As Tropical Storm Isaias approaches Delaware, residents are urged to prepare for dangerous winds over 55 miles per hour and up to 6 inches of rain. Storm surges, localized flooding, tree damage, power outages, and other threats to life and property are possible, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Rain is expected Monday evening, with the brunt of the storm arriving early on Tuesday.
Officials from the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), and other state agencies are monitoring the forecast of Tropical Storm Isaias that could produce heavy rain, wind gusts, and flash flooding throughout the day Tuesday. The National Weather Service has issued a tropical storm warning for the entire state with the potential for winds greater than 39 mph and several inches of rain.
Motorists should not attempt to drive through flooded roads and be alert for downed trees, wires, and other obstructions on the road as result of the wind and rain. DelDOT and its contractors will be securing equipment and materials on construction sites today, however, motorists should be cautious and aware in those areas for objects that can be blown into the roadway. Hazards can be reported to the Transportation Management Center by calling #77 when safely able to do so, which is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
DelDOT will be monitoring the storm and sharing updates as necessary via social media and WTMC 1380AM and reminds motorists that headlights should be on when windshield wipers are in use and to slow down and allow more travel time during any rain event.
Additionally, DelDOT urges residents who live in areas prone to flooding to take precautions for possible evacuation and review evacuation routes which are available on DelDOT’s website.
“As models continue to show Delaware in the path of this storm, home and business owners should take steps to reduce property damage and stay safe,” said Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro. “Secure any outdoor items or furniture that could cause damage when windy conditions occur, charge your cellphones, gather emergency supplies, and make a plan about where you can take shelter away from windows at the peak of the storm. Keep in mind that roads may become difficult to navigate due to debris and tree damage, and never drive through a flooded area.”
Isaias is expected to hit Delaware Tuesday morning. Potential storm impacts include damage to porches, carports and other awnings, as well as roofing and siding, with impacts on mobile homes more significant. NWS expects uprooted or snapped trees in addition to flooding, causing impassable roadways and power outages in some places. Storm surges are likely, and tornadoes are possible.
In advance of storms, residents are urged to locate important documents, including homeowners and auto insurance policies and company contact information, as well as a complete a home inventory. If your property is damaged by Tropical Storm Isaias, contact your insurer before you clean up or make repairs, and photograph all damage. After speaking with your insurer and photographing damage, take action to prevent further damage by covering broken windows, damaged walls, or leaking roofs, but do not make permanent repairs. Your insurance company should inspect the property and estimate the cost of permanent repairs. Save all receipts and documentation, including those related to temporary repairs.
Hurricane season lasts well into the fall, and residents should make plans and take precautions now to reduce future risks, including exploring flood insurance. More than 20 percent of flood insurance claims are for properties outside of high-risk areas. Flood insurance policies typically take 30 days to go into effect.
With Tropical Storm Isaias making its way up the eastern seaboard, Delmarva Power’s full emergency response organization is ready. Employees and local contractors have inspected equipment, reviewed procedures and assembled staffing plans to ensure around-the-clock support to respond to potential impacts from the storm.
Delmarva Power is closely monitoring the path of Tropical Storm Isaias, which is expected to cause damage to the local energy grid and result in power outages for customers. The company has been preparing for this event since last week and has enhanced staffing plans to ensure necessary resources are available to respond for customers. The company has increased staffing of lineworkers and tree-trimming personnel, as well as additional customer care representatives to handle customer emergency and outage calls.
Crews from Delmarva Power’s sister Exelon company, ComEd in Chicago, also are traveling east to support the restoration effort. In addition, the company has secured additional mutual assistance from companies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Canada. Based on the impacts of Tropical Storm Isaias, Delmarva Power also can secure resources from other nearby companies in the Exelon family, including Atlantic City Electric, BGE, PECO and Pepco. Additional personnel will assist the company’s efforts to restore service for customers safely and efficiently and will have a high degree of situational awareness regarding safe work conditions and actions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Delmarva Power is taking the appropriate steps to prepare for this severe weather, while also ensuring the health and safety of employees and customers during the pandemic. The company will ensure all personnel, as well as the personnel from other companies supporting Delmarva Power, are abiding by all CDC and state government executive orders on social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines in the field and while on rest. To ensure the safety of employees and customers while restoration work is being completed, customers are asked to please practice social distancing with crews as they work to restore service.
Just like Delmarva Power prepares for damage that may occur, customers are strongly encouraged to prepare for severe weather.
Have a supply of bottled water and easy-to-prepare, non-perishable foods available.
Charge cell phones and other mobile devices. Consider backup chargers.
Have a flashlight with fresh batteries on each floor of your home.
More tips available at delmarva.com/storm.
Always stay away from any storm damaged electrical equipment, especially downed power lines and tree limbs that may come into contact with power lines.
Check on elderly neighbors and relatives.
Don’t connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring. Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage. Read and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation.
To report an outage or downed wire, customers should call 800-898-8042 or customers can report and track their outage through the company’s mobile app or website at delmarva.com. The company’s interactive outage map also provides information about outages across the company’s system and gives an estimate of how quickly power is expected to be restored.
As part of its own preparation efforts ahead of hurricane season, Delmarva Power works to modernize the local energy grid and harden its system against severe weather. This work includes inspecting existing infrastructure, replacing aging infrastructure, trimming trees that could potentially impact the system, building new underground equipment, and installing smart technology that can automatically restore service more quickly or isolate damage.