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Sussex County weathering coastal storm, some flooding issues

Significant coastal flooding expected Friday afternoon, lasting into weekend while Hurricane Joaquin forecast to stay away

FOR IMMEDIATE                                                                                    1400 Hours, Friday

RELEASE                                                                                                                 Oct. 2, 2015

A major coastal storm along the eastern United States continues to push high waves, heavy rain and gusty winds ashore, but so far, Sussex County is weathering the nor’easter fairly well without any major incidents. Still, minor to moderate flooding is occurring in parts of the county this afternoon, primarily along the Inland Bays and lower Delaware Bay, and could remain a problem for travel through the evening and into the weekend.

A flood warning and high wind warning remain in effect for Sussex County. Forecasters with the National Weather Service expect the nor’easter now affecting the Delmarva Peninsula to continue slowly making its way up along the coast into tonight, with rain subsiding late. Winds could remain gusty, up to 40-50 mph, into Saturday, and tides are expected to run as much as 2 to 4 feet above normal. So far, more than 4 inches of rain has fallen across the county, with additional rainfall expected through Friday night.

Meantime, Hurricane Joaquin, a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 mph and still parked over the Bahamas, is expected to remain well off the East Coast before eventually heading out to sea. The hurricane, though, could still have an influence on Sussex County beaches later this weekend and early next week, with rough surf and beach erosion as the primary effects.

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has issued a limited state of emergency for Sussex County. At this time, there are no evacuation orders or travel restrictions, and no shelters have been designated. However, motorists should exercise caution if traveling, and those living in low-lying areas should take precautions, as needed, since flood waters may affect their communities for several tide cycles over the next two days.

“So far, we have been fortunate to not be experiencing the tremendous rainfall, wave action and flooding that is occurring in places farther south, particularly in Virginia and the Carolinas,” Sussex County Emergency Operations Center Director Joseph L. Thomas said. “That said, we are still experiencing our fair share, and residents, particularly in coastal areas of the county, should expect very high tides and flooding to occur and continue for quite some time.”

Sussex County has launched a helpful interactive map showing areas that are likely to experience some type of flooding in this storm event. To view the map, visit

The Sussex County EOC continues to monitor the situation, and encourages residents and visitors to remain up to date on conditions in the county.

For updates, stay tuned to local television and radio stations, as well as the Sussex County website at The public also should monitor the National Weather Service, at and the National Hurricane Center at for the latest forecasts.

Meantime, Sussex County offers a variety of social media outlets, which are a great resource for up-to-date storm information. Please follow along at:,, and on Facebook; and,, and on Twitter.

For more information, please contact the Sussex County EOC’s storm information hotline at (302) 856-7366.


Media calls should be directed to EOC


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