BOWERS BEACH — The National Weather Service said widespread minor to moderate coastal flooding is expected through Sunday night as a nor’easter continued to pound Delaware this weekend.
The coastal areas were not hit as hard by rain Saturday. The Delaware Environmental Observing System, operated by the University of Delaware to monitor weather conditions, reported less than an inch of rain at all beaches except at the Indian River Inlet, which saw 1.1 inches as of 6 p.m. Saturday.
But wind gusts were as high as 45-60 mph along the coast, which caused some flooding around the times of high tide.
“The rain has nothing to do with whether we flood. We flood with the wind pushing the tide in and not letting it go out,” said Becky Blair, a 40-year resident of Bowers Beach.
The next high tides are Sunday at 3:42 p.m. and Monday at 3:58 a.m.
Ms. Blair said Bowers Beach recently had truckloads of sand dumped to build up the dunes. Saturday’s high tide had already eaten about a quarter of the newly dumped sand away, she said.
“When they would dredge the channel and dump it on the beach, it would last for about 10 years,” Ms. Blair said. “The last couple of times all they do is dump truckloads of sand and it lasts for about two nor’easters and then it’s gone. I don’t understand why they don’t dredge and put it back on the beach like they used to.”
With the potential for flooding, the Bowers Fire Company asked residents to make sure to move their vehicles if they are in a low-lying area. It said if needed, residents may park in the back of the firehouse if they have nowhere else to go.
The fire company also asked residents to secure anything that may float away, including propane tanks and trash/recycling cans.
“So far, so good, we’re all kind of used to it, at least the ones that have lived here for a while,” Ms. Blair said. “We put our cars up on high ground and put everything away that would blow.”
Dover recorded 2,2 inches of rain from Friday night into Saturday evening, according to DEOS’s totals. That was the second-highest mark in the state behind only 2.45 in the Middletown area.
With the high winds and rain impacting the state, the Delaware Department of Transportation asked Delawareans to turn their headlights on, slow down, and be alert for debris on the roads and possible flooding while driving.
It said numerous crashes occurred Friday night into Saturday morning on the wet road, including one fatality. Delaware State Police said a 64-year-old woman from Newark was killed in a one-car crash Friday at approximately 9:24 p.m on I-495 in Wilmington.
Authorities said a 2007 Grand Marquis, driven by a 65-year-old man of Newark, left its lane of travel at a bend in the roadway and entered the median where the driver’s side of the vehicle struck a guardrail. As a result of the collision, the vehicle overturned and came to rest on its roof.
The operator of the Marquis was transported to Christiana Hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries while the female front seat passenger was pronounced dead at Christiana Hospital. Identification of the victim is pending notification to the next of kin.