Coastal Flood Warning in Effect in Southern Delaware
Wave heights are expected to reach in between five and ten feet off of the Sussex coastline. (Photo: WBOC)
The north end of the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach is closed off, due to damage from January's storm. (Photo: WBOC)
Rehoboth Beach city workers were removing a storm-water pipe, so that it would not be washed out to sea. (Photo: WBOC)
Massachusetts Avenue in Lewes already had flooding by mid-afternoon on Monday. (Photo: WBOC)
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.- People that live in coastal areas are bracing for predicted widespread flooding, as the National Weather Service has declared a Coastal Flood Warning, until noon on Tuesday. The warning replaces a less-severe designation of "Coastal Flood Watch," which was in place for much of the day.
The flooding, which is caused by a storm that is not going to hit Delmarva, is likely to impact coastal areas of southern New Jersey and Delaware, as well as the areas along the Delaware Bay. The flooding is expected to be "widespread" and "moderate," during the high tides of Monday night and Tuesday morning.
In Rehoboth Beach, city workers were out removing a storm-water pipe, so that it wouldn't be washed away during the flooding.
"It has happened before," said Larry Hobbs. "Many times."
Hobbs said that the January storm chipped away at the dune that protected the pipe, and even washed the old pipe away into the sea. In the aftermath, the city replaced the pipe, but Hobbs said they are removing it so that it will not have a similar fate.
"We're taking it out so we won't have to replace it again," he said. "Because the tide would take it out."
The National Weather Service said that wave heights are expected to be in between five and ten feet on the coasts, which could lead to "widespread road flooding," and "some damage to vulnerable structures." The service also said that there would be "significant" beach erosion, especially in areas vulnerable, due to damage from the January storm.
Meanwhile on Massachusetts Avenue in Lewes, there is already significant flooding on the roadways. In front of the American Legion Post 17, a gigantic puddle of water has gathered, which Jerry Melfa said is a nuisance. On Monday morning, the high tide brought significant flooding, and Melfa said that the amount of water was expected to rise for the next two high tides as well.
"I mean this thing came up fast," he said. "I mean it really did. We were standing there at the window saying 'you can almost watch it coming in.'"
Among other warnings, the National Weather Service is urging people to never drive through flood waters. That's because it could be deeper than it appears.