Dune breach closes major Del. evacuation route

    A major highway for people hoping to evacuate southern Delaware coastal communities is closed after ocean water breached sand dunes along the road.

    Sussex County officials say Delaware Route 1 is closed in both directions north of the Indian River Inlet Bridge because of water on the road. The dune breach occurred around dawn Sunday morning. Officials say the highway will remain closed indefinitely as Hurricane Sandy closes in on Delaware.

    The closure means people evacuating from towns including Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island will have to turn inland and take smaller roads — a significant detour.

    Sussex County Emergency Operations spokesman Joe Hopple says the dune breach “surprised everybody” and hadn’t been expected so early.

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