Flooding in Bowers Beach cuts off roadway; damage still considered minimal

Areas prone to flooding along the Delaware River and the Delaware Bay beach communities had their share of water over the past two days.

 

Despite minimal wind damage from Hurricane Sandy, the excessive rainfall flooded creeks and rivers and spilled in to roads, making them impassable.

DelDot crews worked throughout the day assessing flooded roads and blocking off impassable areas.

“After this tide and maybe the next one, we should have most of our high water signs up and things should be passable,” said Mark Alexander with DelDot. “It might linger for a few days. I’m anticipating our damage will be minimal.”

Earlier this week the Delaware Emergency Management Agency warned that the state’s waterways could reach hazardous levels and urged people to take flooding precautions.

In Delaware City, resident Al Miller, was stranded in his home by a few feet of water covering his entire yard and front steps. Miller, who lives feet away from the C&D canal, said he prepared by moving his valuables inside and finding shelter for his elderly mother and granddaughter however, he decided to wait out the storm in his home because he was worried about looters.

“People are crazy nowadays and desperate times call for desperate measures and if they can come in and grab a TV or stereo or whatever  they can get their hands on, they take advantage of people in bad situations.”

As one traveled south on Route 9 in Kent County, state police still blocked off Bowers Beach Rd. but allowed residents of the town to come back to their property this afternoon. All residents south of Old Bowers Rd. had been under mandatory evacuation.

Bowers Beach homeowner Jean Friend rode out the storm at her residence on Hubbard Ave. and said her home sustained minor damage. 

“The wind blew out my front window but I don’t consider it a big deal,” she said. “Considering what we could have had.” 

On nearby Flack Ave, resident Mary Snaith said she was surprised to return home and find no major damage.

“It looked like it faired fine,” said Snaith. “We get water on it all the time during high tide/full moon so, no different than a regular high tide.”

 Life-long Bowers Beach homeowner Paula Brooks credits the town for preparing the beach for major storms ahead of time.  Much was done for the area after Hurricane Irene.

“Between last year and this year, they did a big new dune and it held,” she said. “It saved the town.”

Bowers Beach Mayor Ron Hunsicker explained that they have been working with the state for dune replenishment and new drainage. 

“We had some emergency sand work done and we’re scheduled for more dune replenishment. That mitigated a lot of potential damage but also the state through DNREC, engineered drainage modification and we have more in line which we’re trying to get funding for right now.

Mayor Hunsicker added that the swift action by federal, state and local officials helped prepare the town and he’s greatful for the help.

“Going from FEMA down to DEMA and all the way down to our local services,” he said. “We have a dedicated fire company and the cooperation with the residents all minimizes that.”

 

 

 

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.