Gov. Markell tours property in Delaware, urges residents to report damage

A mangled shed sits upside down in a yard it was blown in to, water flows over a portion of the road and residents clear branches and debris from their property in Oak Orchard, Delaware.

This was scene this afternoon as Governor Jack Markell toured the small riverfront town in Sussex County.

Since Hurricane Sandy stormed the state on Monday, Gov. Markell has been making his way through each county, assessing damage and hearing concerns from residents.

His first stop in Oak Orchard was at a local riverfront restaurant, Serendipity, where he spoke with the owner and chatted with members of the Red Hat Society during their postponed Halloween party.

The restaurant owner reported no damage or flooding to the property during this storm but said it has happened in the past. Across the street from the eatery, an elderly couple raked up debris from their yard and showed the governor water marks that the flooding left on their home.

“It’s amazing to me that it’s not even block by block, it’s house by house,” said Markell, assessing the damage.

Markell added that resources such as the Red Cross are available for residents who need clean-up kits.

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for the state of Delaware and now the governor said they’re trying to calculate the cost of damage to see what the state could receive from FEMA.

“The real issue now is to count up the damage that people have suffered,” he said. “If you’ve suffered damage, you really want to call your emergency operations center because the higher that number is, the more likely we’re going to get support from the federal government.”

While the state waits for the total amount of damage to be calculated, crews will continue to work on a number of roads that remain closed this weekend. One big concern is the Route 1 Indian River inlet bridge that remains closed due to tons of sand that washed up on the road during the storm.

“The crew there has done an amazing job,” said Markell. “They’ve literally moved tons of sand that had been on the road. They moved it over to the beach area and are trying to put sand back on the beach. They’re making progress.”

Since Tuesday, DelDot has removed nearly 675,000 cubic feet of sand from the road and plans to have it opened to the public on Sunday.

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