King Tide Hits Oak Orchard Just in Time for Flood Meeting - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

King Tide Hits Oak Orchard Just in Time for Flood Meeting

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Flooding on River Road (Photo: WBOC) Flooding on River Road (Photo: WBOC)

OAK ORCHARD, Del. - A series of high tides hit Delaware's coastal towns this week, just as people prepare for a meeting about flooding in the Oak Orchard area.

Jim Santangelo lives just off River Road and experiences flooding a lot and is getting tired of it.

"Everybody drives through this water and as it gets deeper, it's salt water, it ruins their cars," he said.

While the flooding is often bad during big storms in this area, this week there was a king tide, which is the highest predicted tide of the year.

"It's a definitely drainage problem," Michael Leamen, the head chef at Serendipity restaurant said. "The water comes in has no where to go."

Leamen added that it's only getting worse.

"When they shut down the road wherever it's flooding then people can't get to us so then we have to close up," he explained. "There's no use hanging here when people can't get here."

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, king tides are used to predict how sea level rise will affect coastal areas, so that means flooding like Wednesday's could be the average high tide in the future.

"It's been a problem and it's a problem that can be fixed," Santangelo emphasized. "Putting a new catch basin and a storm drain and a check valve at the end, all this could be fixed."

Representatives with the DNREC drainage program say they are aware of the problem and have allocated $350,000 for the engineering and design of plans for five problem areas in the Oak Orchard, Riverdale area.

After that though, DNREC will need more money for construction costs funded through the General Assembly, and getting that isn't necessarily guaranteed.

The meeting is at the Indian River Fire Company at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and is open for people who live in the area to ask questions about fixing the flooding issues.

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