With moderate to major coastal flooding expected at high tides today and tomorrow, along with high wind warnings along the coast, Gov. Jack Markell at noon on Oct. 2 issued a Limited State of Emergency for Sussex County, effective immediately. State offices will remain open, and no driving restrictions are being implemented; however, localized road closures may occur as conditions warrant it. (See full text below.)
Residents of flood-prone areas of Sussex County and throughout Delaware are at risk of significant flooding and residents of those areas should seriously consider taking precautionary measures, including evacuating voluntarily or planning for potential evacuation and use of travel routes around flooded streets and roads. A list of flood-prone areas is included below.
“Though predicted rainfall totals have dropped and the expected path of Hurricane Joaquin remains well off-coast, high winds and coastal flooding will significantly impact Sussex County,” said Markell. “State and local officials are taking the necessary steps to prepare for possible evacuations and road closures and the National Guard has been deployed to Kent and Sussex Counties to support those efforts, as needed. Residents in flood-prone areas of the state should prepare accordingly and continue to monitor communications from state and local agencies for updates.”
Flood-Prone Areas of Sussex County
Sussex County Delaware Bay Communities
Prime Hook Beach
Lewes Beach, east of the Rehoboth Lewes canal
Sussex County Ocean Coastal Communities
Areas within .75 miles 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
Declaration of Limited State of Emergency for Sussex County
WHEREAS, as of Friday, October 2, 2015, a Nor’easter system has affected the State of Delaware and is projected to continue to impact the State as Hurricane Joaquim moves north and interacts with the system, and
WHEREAS, rain and high tides from that system have resulted in flooding conditions in Sussex County, Delaware; and
WHEREAS, weather conditions throughout Sussex County and continuing for the remainder of the week and into the weekend may continue to exacerbate said flooding; and
WHEREAS, the effects of this storm system threaten public safety and have the potential to cause major damage to the infrastructure of Sussex County; and
WHEREAS, based upon evidence presented to me by the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, I have found that the potential for the occurrence of an emergency is high in Sussex County; and
WHEREAS, flood-prone areas of Sussex County and throughout Delaware are at risk of significant flooding, and residents of those areas should seriously consider taking precautionary measures, including evacuating voluntarily or planning for potential evacuation and use of travel routes around flooded streets and roads; and
WHEREAS, it is necessary to pre-stage and potentially deploy resources and assets of the Delaware National Guard in anticipation of responding to any such threats to public safety;
NOW THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, pursuant to Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, do hereby declare a Limited State of Emergency for Sussex County, Delaware. This Limited State of Emergency is effective on October 2, 2015, as of 12:00 p.m. The nature of the emergency is flooding and its potential effects caused by the storm beginning October 1, 2015, and continuing thereafter. Along with such other actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, I specifically direct and authorize:
1. All departments and agencies of the State of Delaware shall assist in response and recovery activities, as directed by and in coordination with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, necessary in those areas of Sussex County affected by the storm.
2. The Delaware National Guard shall take precautionary or responsive actions directed by the Director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, in consultation with the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, upon request by local authorities in impacted areas of Sussex County.
3. The Delaware Emergency Management Agency shall activate the State Emergency Operations Plan and cooperate with federal authorities, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency in making application, if necessary for relief and assistance for those towns and communities adversely affected by the continuing storms, pursuant to the Delaware Emergency Operations Plan and any potentially applicable federal disaster or emergency relief laws, including but not limited to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
4. Unless otherwise directed, all normal operations of State government shall continue without interruption.
5. I reserve the right to take, or direct state or local authorities to take, without issuance of further written order, any other necessary actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code to respond to this emergency.
Approved this 2nd day of October, 2015, at 12:00 p.m.