Delaware Hurricane Irene
August 27, 2011 by USA Post
Delaware Hurricane Irene, Weakened but still dangerous Hurricane Irene sent hundreds of thousands of people fleeing across the Delaware and neighboring states Friday with evacuees pushed by state and federal warnings that the strong winds, heavy rain and widespread loss of power could cover the region Saturday night.
The fact that the storm will arrive as a Category 1 hurricane just off Delaware shore weeks after the abnormally high rainfall is expected to greatly increase the incidence of fallen trees, authorities said.
Governor Jack Markell on Friday ordered the mandatory evacuation of a strip of three quarter miles stretching over 100 miles along the Atlantic coast and inland bays and the Delaware Bay and River.
The order and a call by Thursday to allow visitors to leave complex condition caused long backups on the main roads of Delaware as drivers tried to leave, including Route 1 highway, where state officials suspended tolls to keep traffic moving. The journey of 80 miles drive from Georgetown to New Castle on Friday afternoon took about three and a half hours.
Executive Order Markell – without recent precedent – also called for the closure at midnight on Friday of the companies in the evacuation area. Markell said that residents should be free of areas at 9 am today.
All bridges over the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal and the Indian River inlet bridge, said Markell, could be closed late today at the height of the storm.
“If this hurricane in Delaware occurs as planned, the damage will be unlike anything seen in the state over the past 50 years,” said Markell.
Shelters for evacuees the state began to open at noon on Friday, while schools and government offices closed for the duration of the emergency. Emergency workers activated the automatic phone alert, and in some cases going door to door asking residents to leave immediately and warned that aid could be available to the parasites during the height of the storm.
The American Red Cross had about 1,000 volunteers ready to help if needed for Friday, according to Patrick K. Delaney, regional director of group organization of the Delmarva Peninsula.
Catherine Rossi, director of communications Markell said Friday that the evacuation calls to 100,000 people affected in Delaware alone, said state police have compliance with the evacuation order.
“This is the biggest mass mobilization of people can remember, and in terms of the state police to take action against businesses or residents who leave or do not close – we just want everyone to cooperate and get everyone out of danger,” said Rossi .
“The reality is that we really do not have the resources to go door to door checking individuals or urging them to abandon their homes,” said Rossi.
Tolls along the Route 1 road stopped at noon at the speed of displacement in threatened areas, and Red Cross shelters began to open at the same time. Transit services is expected to close on Sunday and possibly today.
Residents living near rivers and streams, he said, must also be alert for flash floods.
“At some point during the day (today) when the winds forcing us to close the bridges over the C & D Canal, and the concern for flooding is likely to require the closure of the Indian River inlet bridge,” said Markell.
The Federal Emergency Management also recommends that residents of manufactured homes in Sussex County to relocate because of the severity of the storm.
Delaware National Guard expected to exchange for 500 soldiers in active service in the state after midnight, with another 1,000 available immediately if necessary, as a result of the decision to reschedule a meeting in September drilling required for this weekend week, Tech Sgt. Mateway Benjamin said late Friday.
For those who want to enter coastal areas to secure the property, Markell said, “please do not do it unless its absolutely necessary because of the traffic we expect to see.”
Evacuation of visitors to the complex on Thursday ordered in Delaware and Ocean City, Maryland, and Cape May, NJ The order Friday produced a series of reactions – from the quick getaway of complaints and concerns.
On the coast of Sussex, Denis and Cathy Casey were lengthening on Friday night on whether to leave his beachfront home that sits atop a dune in the Sussex Shores subdivision north of Bethany Beach private.
The Caseys reasoned that their options for shelter inland include the threat of flooding, areas prone to falling trees and extended power outages.
“Wherever you go, you may be without power anyway,” said Cathy Casey.
The Caseys were closely monitoring the storm, although mostly concerned with category 2 winds hitting your home all year.
“We are betting, or hoping the wind is less of a factor,” said Denis Casey, an attorney from Salisbury.
The couple had wooden panels to cover a window in the front of your house and aluminum panels in the windows that overlook the sea.
In Fenwick Island, some residents living in the inner bay just outside the area three-quarters of a mile evacuation planned to stay Saturday night.
“We feel confident where we are,” Courtney said Ritter, 27.
Ritter and his partner, Michelle Harr, 31, rode his bicycle Friday night just hooked up a restaurant on Route 1 that was staying open until 8 pm Friday.
“It’s good now,” said Harr. “Tomorrow may be a different story.”
Another redoubt was Eddie O’Malley Fenwick Island, which was hanging in the bar just hooked and felt safe living a mile inland.
“It is not my first rodeo,” said O’Malley.
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