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Lewes, Delaware
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September 1, 2006     Cape Gazette
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September 1, 2006

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20 - CAPE  ' Friday, September 1 - Monday, September 4, 2006 L00dm0000to be replaceby modern navigation plaffoms By Ran MacArthur Cape Gazette staff Two Lewes coastline landmarks have succumbed to the onslaught of salt water and time. The rusted, steel navigational towers marking the entrance to Roosevelt Inlet have been removed and will be replaced with more modern platforms. Work crews finished most of the demolition work last week and have replaced the towers with tem- porary buoys to mark the inlet entrance. "The base of the towers had badly deteriorated and the towers were unsafe to climb," said Herman Bechtler, the U.S. Coast Guard offi- cer in charge of the aids to naviga- tion team in Cape May, N.J. t "It had reached a point where we were notable to climb the towers to ce the lights," he added. - AccOfdg to local historians, the towers date back at least 40 years. Tb61d towers will be replaced with state-of-the-art James River platfoffns.-in a teepee design, Bechtler said. Because of the num- ber of projects currently under way, he did not have a completion date for the project. "The new markers will be similar to those mariners see in other loca- tions with the same kind of day hoards and lights they are used to," Bechtler noted. He added that the temporary buoys, although much smaller than the towers, serve the same purpose. "At night, it shouldn't seem differ- ent to anyone," he said. Another project is nearing com- pletion along the Lewes coastline. The Coast Guard is replacing a nav- igational marker at the end of the jetty in the Harbor of Refuge. The cement platform supporting the tower had deteriorated, Bechtler said. "There is a temporary light at the end of the jetty and no day mark right now, but eventually when the project is done, it will be relit like it was a year ago," he said. Bechtler expects the Harbor of Refuge project to be completed this week. Ron MacArthur photo The navigational towers marking the entrance to the Roosevelt Inlet in Lewes have been removed by the U.S. Coast Guard and will be replaced by modern platforms. In the back- ground is the Kalmar Nyekel, Delaware's tall ship. Weekend Continued from page 1 Service in Mt. Holly, N.J. The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather out- look and flash flood warning for the eastern Sussex area effective through Saturday afternoon. Tides along  Atlantic Ocean could run 2 72:5 feet above normal Friday into Friday night. Minor to moderate tidal flooding could occur at the time of high tide on Friday. In addition, the strong offshore flow will produce increasing Debra Jones, a spokeswoman for Sussex EOC, said that motorists should use caution when driving in rain. "Water can pond or completely cover a road's serv- ice in a short period of time," she said. "If roads are water-covered, do not drive through the affected areas. The water could be higher than it appears. The phone number to report downed trees, flooding or power outages in Sussex is 856-7366. "Those who work or live in flood-prone areas are encouraged to think about flood safety and to take steps to protect families, homes and businesses," said rough :surf with wave heights  Pack, a spokeswoman reaching8 to:10 feet Friday. A ,,fol-!i !Delaware Emergency high S-"iviOry Imsi i::i.;?Mae Agency. issued. ......... "This rain follows a wet There will be a risk of rip cur- Wednesday and Thursday which rents into Saturday. "The worst of the storm will be Friday into Saturday morning with some occasional heavy downpours. People should really be on the look out," she said. "This could turn out to be a really big rain event. "My advice is to just stay inside. Unfortunately a lot of peo- ple want to go to the shore this holiday weekend. It's not looking very promising." State and county officials are keeping a watchful eye on the weather. "Forecasters are not anticipat- ing the type of rainfall we saw in the Seaford and Blades areas two months ago when a prolonged thunderstorm produced more than 10 inches of rain, washing out bridges and flooding homes," said Joseph Thomas, director of the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center. "However, localized, heavy amounts are always a possibility with these types of storms, and residents need to be on guard that flash flooding could occur at any time." I could contribute to conditions for flash flooding if streams and ponds are already high on their banks." Mixed impact The forecast does not seem to be affecting people staying over the weekend in the Rehoohoth area. "We are looking at close to a 90 percent occupancy rate," said Carol Everhart, executive director of the Rehohoth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce. That was not the situation earli- er this week. "That rate really surprises me because it was not the case on Tuesday when we were getting a lot of calls to cancel reservations. I was thinking that 70 percent was going to be good," she said. "I guess people have reconsidered." In Lewes, Betsy Reamer, exec- ntive director of the Lewes Chamber, said there have been some cancellations caused by the forecast. But it's good news for last-minute visitors. 'q'his is an opportunity for those who wanted to come - now is their chance," she said. Gas prices are falling The gloomy weather forecast comes as gas prices are falling on a daily basis. AAA was predicting a 2.3 percent increase in holiday travel this Lahor Day weekend compared to last year. "What the forecast will do to that prediction remains to be seen," said Ela Voluck, AAA of Delaware spokesperson. "It does- n't look like a beach weekend to end the summer season. But there are still other travel options if your beach plans are ruined." The lowest price of a gallon of regular gas in the Rehoboth Beach-Lewes area ranged from $2.63 to $2.69 on Thursday; the average in Delaware was $2.78, down from $2.82 the day before. "That is great news for motorists who are looking for a break in their budget," said Voluck. "The price is 10 cents lower than a week ago and drop- ping one or two cents a day. She attributes the fall in price to the drop in crude prices, down from $78 in mid-July to $70 this week, the lack of major storms in the southern Gulf Coast refinery region and a decline in demand at the end of the summer. Last month the average price of gallon in Delaware was $3, but even with the drop it does not match the $2.61 price from this time a year ago. DelDOT on patrol In spite of the weather forecast, DelDOT officials are getting pre- pared for the Lahor Day weekend. Traffic patrol units will be on patrol throughout the state to assist motorists, adjust signal tim- ings and monitor traffic volumes. DelDOT's Transportation Management Center will monitor more than 5,500 miles of roads around the clock keeping an eye Flon rthur photo With rough surf breaking behind them, A.J. Hemphill and Brooks Pearce of the Rehoboth Beach Patrol are bundled up against the wind and blowing sand Thursday, Aug. 31. The pair said they would be ready for whatever weather condi- tions occur this Labor Day weekend. on more than 80 traffic cameras, said Darrel Cole, director of pub- lie relations. Extra staff will be on hand at toll plazas on Friday, Sunday and Monday and all DelDOT con- struction operations onmajor north-south corridors are to be halted at noon on Friday for the holiday weekend, said Cole. DART First State services, fixed route and paratransit, will not operate on Monday, Sept. 4. However, resort transit routes 201-208, related paratransit serv- ices and the route 305-beach con- nection will continue to provide a reduced service schedule through Sunday, Sept. 17, serving Rehohoth, Lewes, Georgetown, Dewey, Bethany, Fenwick Island and Ocean City. Meola offered these words of storms, we can't rule out tornados. People should keep their eyes to the skies on the lookout for any kind of rotation. If you are out on the roads this weekend, you need to keep aware of what is going on. If you like weather, it's going to be a great weekend for you." warning this Labor Day weekend: "With the chance of thcnder' shower mostly cloudy. Weather Friday: Periods of rain/ thun- derstorms. 1-2 inches of rain. Winds- 26-31 mph. Friday night: Periods of rain/ thunderstorms. 1-2 inches of rain with heavy rainfall possible. Winds - 25-28, decreasing to 15-18 mph. Saturday: 30 percent chance of showers/mostly cloudy. Sunday: 40 percent chance of showers/mostly cloudy. Monday: 40 percent chance of U