Storm Damage to Del. Beaches Estimated at $20 Million - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Reported by Michael Lopardi

Storm Damage to Del. Beaches Estimated at $20 Million

Updated:
Walkways to Bethany Beach are closed because of beach erosion. (Photo submitted by a WBOC viewer) Walkways to Bethany Beach are closed because of beach erosion. (Photo submitted by a WBOC viewer)
Close-up view of a damaged dune in Bethany Beach. (Photo submitted by a WBOC viewer) Close-up view of a damaged dune in Bethany Beach. (Photo submitted by a WBOC viewer)

BETHANY BEACH, Del.- As the skies cleared and the clean up got underway, Delaware leaders estimated damage to the First State's coastline from last week's storm could result in a hefty repair bill.

Overall, repairing the damage on projects from Fenwick Island to Rehoboth Beach could total up to $20 million, said Collin O'Mara, Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

O'Mara said the state would likely seek supplemental funding from the Army Corps of Engineers and assistance from the state's Congressional delegation to help cover the bill. The Army Corps will also help in supplying manpower and equipment for repair, O'Mara said.

Assessment and surveying of the beach damage got underway Monday by representatives from both DNREC and the Army Corps, O'Mara said. A full assessment could take up to two weeks and is needed before a repair plan can be drafted, said Anthony Pratt, Shoreline Administrator for Delaware.

Bulldozers were moving sand on Monday near Bethany Beach in efforts to repair the shore, Pratt said. Pratt said it is too early to determine exactly how much sand was washed away in the storm but said the communities of Bethany Beach and South Bethany likely suffered the worst damage.

In both towns, all walkways leading to the beach are closed and the dunes are completely eroded in certain areas. In South Bethany, some walkways are underwater or severely damaged.

In Bethany, the drop off between the end of the walkway and the beach is roughly 15-feet in parts, town leaders said.

Despite flooding on the bay side of town, Pratt said Dewey Beach held up fairly well during the storm. However, the storm eroded parts of Rehoboth Beach and its dunes, leading to drop offs of about four-feet.

O'Mara said the dunes did their job in protecting coastal communities from damage, noting little property damage was reported from the storm.

On Monday, Sussex County activated a special hotline for homeowners to report storm-related damage. People in Sussex can call (302) 856-7366.

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