Waves from Hurricane Jose Breach Dune, Flood Route One - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Waves from Hurricane Jose Breach Dune, Flood Route One

Posted: 09/19/2017 17:32:00 -04:00 Updated:

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. - A major highway in Sussex County was shut down for hours after heavy surf and high tide caused a dune to breach. 

"We were concerned as this storm was approaching that we would have waves at a high velocity coming across and that's what happened," says Tony Pratt, DNREC's Shoreline and Waterway Management Administrator. "We had a low spot on the dunes we didn't know about and just enough water packed up next to it that came over the top."

The water spilled onto Route One and flooded both directions of the highway. DelDOT says shutting down the highway was a matter of safety.

"Our biggest concern is somebody driving quickly through the water," says Alastair Probert, DelDOT's Southern District Engineer. "Their cars will flood or hydroplane or spin out so we are trying to keep them as safe as possible as they travel Route One."

While detours were put in place, Probert says they can add an extra hour to people's commute, so they try to avoid shutting down the highway. But unfortunately, Probert says it may happen again tonight.

"There's one more tide cycle at least tonight that may cause us to close down Route One again later on this evening," he says.

Pratt says this breach is relatively minor, and crews were on scene quickly to repair the dune. He says the beach did not suffer too much erosion this time around and that DNREC will do everything they can to repair this dune and others. 

"We've got a long way to get to the other side of the storm season which is April-May of next year," he says. "So we'll do as much repair work as we can between storms but it's up to mother nature to tell us what we have to defend against."

Pratt says the last time waves from the ocean breached a dune and flooded the highway was Hurricane Sandy. 

 

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