Major storm could bring widespread flooding to Delaware

Staff WriterGovernment, RSS-GOV

Delaware state officials are urging residents to be aware and prepare for potential flooding on Tuesday and Wednesday from a major storm that could bring at least 1 to 3 inches of rain with the heaviest rainfall expected to fall Tuesday night. The combination of heavy rain on already saturated ground with rivers running higher could lead to widespread and significant flooding.

Coastal Flood Threat
Coastal Flood Hazard

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a flood watch from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon. Widespread flooding from excessive rainfall is possible for the Delaware beaches, inland Sussex, Kent, and New Castle Counties. In addition, damaging south to southeast winds could produce gusts 40 to 50 m.p.h. inland and gusts up to 65 mph for coastal areas. A storm watch is in effect for all marine zones with dangerous seas building 15 to 20 feet Tuesday night lingering into Wednesday.

DEMA has resources on PrepareDE.org about flooding and the NWS also offers flood safety tips to help everyone prepare. Homeowners are urged to clear their gutters and drains as well as check sump pumps to make sure they are working properly.

Clean Drains and Gutters
Officials urge homeowners to clean drains, gutters, and check sump pumps.

‚ÄúHaving multiple rain¬†events over the course of a few weeks has created the possibility for serious flooding with Tuesday‚Äôs storm,‚ÄĚ said¬†A.J. Schall, Director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency.¬†‚ÄúTake time today to prepare and make sure you are weather aware and follow the directions of local officials.‚ÄĚ

Secretary of Transportation¬†Nicole Majeski¬†added, ‚ÄúDrivers should be alert to the possibility of flooded roads during this storm and not attempt to drive through them. Please slow down and adapt your driving to the conditions. DelDOT will be monitoring road conditions throughout the storm and will be ready to respond. Flooded roads can be reported to the Transportation Management Center by calling #77.‚ÄĚ

The Delaware Emergency Management Agency is monitoring weather conditions and will work with county emergency management officials to respond and address any emerging needs. DelDOT will update road closure information and issue travel advisories on its website, WTMC 1380 AM, and the DelDOT mobile app.

As a coastal state with the lowest average elevation in the U.S., flooding is the most common weather hazard in Delaware. For a map of flood-prone areas in Delaware, go to¬†de.gov/floodrisk. Residents in these areas should monitor the weather and prepare to move to higher ground if necessary. Motorists are reminded to ‚ÄúTurn Around, Don‚Äôt Drown‚ÄĚ if they encounter flooded roadways.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters.

KEY MESSAGES

  • Stay informed about¬†current weather, storm forecasts, travel advisories, and warnings
  • Sign up for the Delaware Emergency Notification System (DENS) at¬†de.gov/dens¬†to learn about emergency closings or hazardous conditions. Download the¬†FEMA App¬†and set up local alerts.
  • If possible, avoid travel by car in flooded areas. Check on road conditions with the¬†DelDOT App.

Flood Severity Terms

  • Flood Watch:¬†Flooding is possible. Tune to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television.
  • Flash Flood Watch:¬†Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
  • Flood Warning:¬†Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.

National Weather Service Links:

DelDOT Links:

DEMA Links:

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