The order to evacuate Delaware’s coastal communities stretch into Kent County and the towns along the Delaware Bay.
The towns haven’t been cut off from the main land yet. Only emergency personnel were permitted access to Bowers Beach as police blocked access roadways where water started to flood. Like many places around the state, you could drive fine one minute and a few feet down the road you would encounter water.
Water and debris could be seen covering Bowers Beach Road and Thompsonville Road and residents in low-lying areas in Kent County were urged to evacuate ahead of the storm.
Even though the evacuation order would have shut down any businesses in the evacuation zone, not everyone thought there was a need to leave. Dawn Hesser is manager at a Shore Stop gas station on Route 1 near Bowers. She and her co-worker stayed open Monday.
She knows many customers who were waiting out the storm at home, and were happy that she was open. “They’re coming in for supplies and then they’re going back home,” said Hesser.
The gas station has been open since 6 a.m. and has been serving many motorists and residents throughout the day.
“It’s been really busy,” said Hesser. “We had lots of phone calls, people asking if we’re open and we’re telling them to come on in.”
Hesser said the store stocked up on supplies such as gas, bread and milk and prepared for the storm ahead of time.
“We brought in all of our signs and we taped the windows and we tried to get all of the trash cans out of the way so nothing blows on to the road.”
Despite the strong winds, there were minimal tree branches down and no report of power outages in the area, however, anyone experiencing power outages or downed wires should contact their power company immediately.
The big fear will be the next 24 hours and the dangers of erosion. This area is near the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. State environmental officials are wrestling with decisions over what to do with a higher ocean that means the loss of dunes. These are decisions Delaware will need to make over the next 50 years. They hope Sandy doesn’t speed up that time table.