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Lewes, Delaware
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January 30, 1998     Cape Gazette
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January 30, 1998

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12 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, January 30 - February 5, 1998 Storm Continued from page 1 for Delaware Bay back to sea. It flooded Cedar Avenue in Lewes with up to three feet of wa- ter, flattened the dunes in front of million dollar homes at North Shores and downed 50 to 60 large trees in Heniopen Acres. It dissolved the dunes of Dewey Beach for several blocks and flooded Route 1 and caused heavy erosion and road closures the length of the Ocean Highway south to Fenwick Island. The heaviest damage occurred in Henlopen Acres where shal- low-rooted pines, 50 and 60 feet tall and vulnerable in the rain- soaked ground, fell to the steady pressure of the wind. The trees spiked branches through some roofs and knocked shingles off others. The yard of Baltimore ar- chitect Donald Radcliff, at the comer of Zwaanendael and Dodds Lane, looked tornado-struck with no less than 16 trees uProoted on all sides of the single-story cot- tage. " "The trees didn't snap," said Henlopen Acres resident Debra Fischer. "They just slowly fell out of the rain-soaked ground." Most damage in morning Most of the damage occurred between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. when the northeasterly moving storm that came up the coast sustained winds of 60 mpb and greater. Al- though a variety of weather ser- vices forecasted gale-forced wirMs (in the 40 to 50 mph range) and" coastal flooding, none pre- dicted the winds that approached hurricane force and gusted beyond that level. "Our breaking point is 70 miles an hour and thtt came about mid- morning on Wednesday," said Jim Maloney, a member of the Pilots Association. Maloney was work- ing the tower at Cape Henlopen overnight on Tuesday and watched the winds build to 65 miles an hour by the time he went off duty at 8 a.m. Wednesday. "I wasn't there but they tell me the winds hit 70 at around 10 a.m. and that's when we shut down opera- tions," said Maloney. "Due to wind and seas. We had eight-to-10 foot seas inside the breakwater. It wasn't safe for the launches to carry tilots to ships in those con- ditions." Maloney said the captain of a fully loaded tanker headed into Delaware Bay with petroleum ra- Cape district roofing funds coming none too soon By Kerry Kester If there were any lingering doubts about the Cape district's need to make immediate repairs on some of its school building roofs, the driving rains on Wednesday, Jan. 28, may have put those doubts aside. Several build- ings sustained water damage when the heavy downpour and strong winds caused roof leaks. According to Greg Weer, build- ings and grounds supervisor, storm damage to the buildings from Wednesday's storm is as fol- lows: Rehoboth Elementary School - one or two classrooms sustained ceiling-tile damage in the large school, and there was damage to ceiling tiles in the cafe- teria in the small building; Cape Henlopen High School - damage to some ceiling tiles in some stair towers; Shields Elementary School - some ceiling-tile dam- age; Milton Middle School, H.O. Brittingham Elementary School and Lewes Elementary School - some leaks but no significant damage. "A couple of the leaks intensi- fied a little," said Weer. "The wind-driven rain made some things show up that don't normal- ly show up. Some of our existing leaks, with the ferocity of the storm, were a little intensified." The Cape Henlopen School Dis- trict Board of Education passed its FY 98 budget on Thursday, Jan. 8. The budget provides $240,000 for the district to make the most criti- cal roof repairs this year, and the board intends to seek state spe- cial-minor-capital-improvement funds for the FY 99 budget. The total roofing repair cost is estimat- ed at approximately $480,000. During the Thursday, Jan. 22 board meeting, Director of Busi- ness Operations Andy Branden- berger pre- sented the. board with a comprehen- sive roof sur- vey conduct- ed by AR- CON, Inc. The report, signed by Clifford C. RES damage Conover, vice president, stated "Several roof systems in place are in a deterio- rating condition and are expected to deteriorate gradually. Howev- er, extreme weather conditions may accelerate the deterioration process, thereby rendering roof systems to a constant nonwater- tight condition." Conover's report stated both Rehoboth Elementary School buildings would need roof re- placements at a cost of $175,000. The high school requires some re- pair and replacement work at a cost of $65,000. H.O. Britting- ham, the report stated, also needs both repairs and replacement; the cost will be $15,500. Other 1998 repairs are as fol- lows: administration building, $500; Lewes Middle School and maintenance building, $8,000; Milton Middle School, $20,000; Shields Elementary School, $15,000; and Sussex Elementary Consortium, $9,000. dioed him and said he was getting out of the shiping lane and head- in back out to sea. "He was wor- ded that with the 10-foot surge we were having, his ship would bot- tom out when it got into the shal- lower water of the shipping lane. That was about the time I sav the waves breaking over the dunes at the point and running like a river across the point to the bay." Maloney said the tanker finally returned at about 8 p.m. Wednes- day night after the power of the storm had passed Delaware. Tony Pratt said Divison of Soil and Water Control officials were patrolling Delaware's beaches on Thursday to determine the extent of erosion and beach damage. "The waves breached the dunes in several places along the coast," he said. "We know we lost dunes in Dewey. From Read Street south the dune's all gone. The flooding of Route 1 started when we lost the dunes. We weren't happy with the size of the dune in Dewey going into the season but we're pleased at how- long that little dune held back the surf. It was blowing a steady 60 to 65 at our inlet sand bypass operation at In- dian River Inlet." Pratt said he toured Lewes Beach at the height of the storm and found the highest flooding's he ever seen. "I usually travel Cedar and Bay Avenue in these storms to see how the beach is fairing," said Pratt. 'Tve never seen water from the canal side up into and across Bay Avenue [just inside the Lewes Beach duneline]. There was a foot of water on Bay Avenue." North of Lewes Beach, at Broadkill Beach, Pratt said he watched six-foot waves breaking less than 50 feet away from hous- es at North Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia avenues. "That's phenomenal at Broadkill Beach. That's inside Delaware Bay. You never see waves that large up there. But even at Cape Shores in Lewes that gets protection from both breakwaters, the point and the ferry jetties, there were two to three-foot waves breaking. That's just how hard the storm was blow- ing and its direction." Broadkill resident concerned Ann Porter of Broadldll Beach, a member of the Broadkill Beach Preservation Association, said the storm was the worst she has ever seen. "They have to do something or we're going to lose some hous- es. There'S not much beach left as there is," said Porter. 'q'hey need to bolster this coast some how. I'd say they ought to get that chan- nel dredging project going and pump some sand up here. I love it here but we're losing the beach. This one was really devastating." At the end of North Carolina Avenue in Broadldll, septic tanks were being undermined by the surf and foundationswere still in the waves on Thursday as the high tide stayed above normal. Lewes flooding cited In Lewes, City Manager Elaine Bisbee said she stayed in touch with a number of residents on Lewes Beach throughout the day on Wednesday to make sure they were okay. "The power was out in some areas for a little while and some people were having trouble with their phones because the equipment was under water. The flooding was the worst we have ever seen. We had to barricade off several streets and a number of cars were stranded at the Daily Market. I expect a lot of beach erosion. There were five and six foot waves hitting the beachfront. There were also houses on Cedar with water getting in." Bisbee said that Street Foreman Larry McLaughlin was in the process of contacting those owners on Thurs- day. "There are lots of trees down and shingles blown off. Other than that I think we're okay." Dewey takes a beating Dewey Beach Town Manager Bill Rutherford stood on Rodney Street on Thursday morning in front of the new Town Hall. Still a work in progress, the structure is in such advanced stages of con- struction that workers were actu- ally able to paint inside on Wednesday, he said, unscathed by high winds and heavy rainfall. Other areas of Dewey Beach weren't so lucky. Rutherford said most of the damage occurred Continued on page 15 Dover University's Parallel Office, Room214 Delaware Tech Terry Campus 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., weekdays only Call 302/741-2793 for an evening advisement or registration appointment. Georgetown William A. Carter Partnership Center Delaware Tech Owens Campus 8:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m., Mon.-Thurs. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Fri. Call 302/855-1630 for an evening advisement appointment. Note: Please be prepared to pay when you register. MasterCard, VISA, Discover accepted. More convenient, more flexible, fewer hassles t. 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