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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
September 5, 2006     Cape Gazette
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September 5, 2006

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Ernesto Continued from page 1 chairs, boogie boards and umbrel- las, were carried out to sea. The loss may be as much as $40,000, she said. "My husband has been in this business for 60 years and this is the worst storm we've ever had as far as losing equipment. We are devastated," she said. Employees spent the remainder of the Labor Day weekend scour- ing the coast for washed up chairs and boogie boards, finding some as far away as Cape Henlopen State Park. Catts said that normally when a major storm is forecast, they remove their equipment from the beach. "This storm was so under- rated. Winds at 20-30 mph are not a problem for us. We really didn't have any notice, and the storm just stayed and stayed," she said. Catts said other concessionaries in Bethany and Ocean City also lost thousands of dollars in rental equipment. She is urging people who find CATTS equipment to call 227-7620 and they will send someone to pick it up. storm lingers longer The remnants of Emesto turned out to be a real labor for Cape Region residents. The Cape Region spent part of the holiday weekend cleaning up after the storm. Although the storm weakened, it still packed a powerful punch, hitting the area with 50 mph winds - topped by gusts up to 80 mph. The area was drenched with 4 to 5 inches of rain as the storm slammed the region on Friday, Sept. 1, into the early-morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 2. There were no injuries or fatal- ities and the damage was less than experienced in neighboring states, said Rosanne Pack, spokesperson for the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. "There were some roads flood- ed to the point of closure, but there were no requests for assis- tance or evacuation of residents. It was not necessary to open any shelters," Pack said. "The storm did linger over the state longer than predicted. The primary inconvenience was the number of customers who lost power as the combination of winds and water-soaked soil caused numerous trees to fall across power lines," Pack said. Wind gusts were reported at 80 mph and the sustained wind on Friday night was 50 mph, accord- ing to the Philadelphia Marine Exchange. As the winds howled Friday, nearly 68,000 Delmarva Power and Delaware Electric Cooperative lost power. Some res- idents were without power for more than 48 hours. Delaware Electric Cooperative crews and subcontractors worked around the clock to restore power to nearly 17,500 customers. By 6 a.m. on Sunday, all power had been restored, said Rob Book, a spokesman for the cooperative. Nearly 95 percent of the inter- ruptions were caused by trees and branches falling on power lines, Book said. The lights went out for nearly 50,000 Delmarva Power cus- tomers, 16,500 in Delaware. Power had been restored to all but a few by Sunday, said Matt Likovich, a Delmarva spokesman. Beach taken out to sea In Lewes, pounding waves took away about 75 feet of sand along portions of the beach and more than 100 feet in Rehoboth. Waves 10 to 12 feet high pounded the coast all day Friday and most of the day Saturday. Stormwater outfalls buried dur- i0g last summer's beach replen- ishment project resurfaced Saturday as Ernesto blew through the area. Richard Engel, who has been observing the beach from the Star of the Sea Condominiums for Ron MacArthur photos At left, Jillian Koresko of Radnor, Pa., hangs on to a light pole on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk during the storm on Friday, Sept. 1. Above, Kevin Smith of Rehoboth takes on the full strength of 40 to 50 mph winds Friday, Sept. 1, as he balances himself on the Boardwalk in Rehoboth. the past 19 years, said based on the number of exposed pilings, about 150 feet of beach has been lost in the area near Baltimore Avenue. In the area near Star of the Sea, the beach remains wider, but Engel estimated at least 75 feet of beach was washed into the ocean. Although the beach is dimin- ished, it will come back, accord- ing to Tony Pratt, shoreline administrator for Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). "In the aftermath of the storm, exactly what we hoped would happen occurred," he said. "The only damage was a fence down at the Henlopen Hotel, everything else held. The dune was not impacted." Pratt said that the dry sand is greatly diminished along the coast. "All of the sand has been pulled out on sand bars. Nature can remove the sand in hours, but it will take two to three weeks to restore it." An $18 million beach replen- By Kevin Spence ishment project was completed in Cape Gazette staff Deborah and Jeffrey Dersham Rehoboth and Dewey beaches in July 2005. "We had a few minor were weathering the storm, storms over the winter but this has watching television inside their been the highest intensity level Rehoboth Beach Yacht & Country we've seen so far," said Pratt. "On Club, as Ernesto pelted the area with rain Friday night. the scale of things, it was not a memorable storm though. We will About 10 p.m., 50 feet from certainly see stronger ones." their living room, their boat sud- Storm exhumes By Jim Westhoff Cape Gazette staff Remember that 55-foot fin whale carcass that washed ashore in May? It's back. The heavy surf blown in by Tropical Storm Ernesto unearthed the whale Saturday, Sept. 2, and it was once again providing perfume for the area near Fenwick Island. Extremely high tides and heavy surf reached the whale's interment site in Fenwick Island State Park, washing away tons of sand and exposing the bones and-flesh of the 70,000-pound animal. The whale was reburied Sunday by crews from Fenwick Island State Park. "The biggest problem was people taking pieces as Kevln Spence photo In Henlopen Acres, five trees fell Friday, Sept. 1. Two of them blocked the rights-of-way on Rolling Road and Pine Roach, said Henlopen Acres Mayor Wanda Davis. Sussex County deals with minor storm damage denly caught fire, Jeffrey said. "We just saw flames shooting out the rear of the boat," he said. A battery charger caught fire and Dersham feared the fuel tank would explode next. "I tried to put out the fire with a garden hose. The wind was blowing too hard to get the water to the engine," he Continued on page 14 buried whale; vandals are warned souvenirs and vandalizing the skeleton," said Suzanne Thurman, executive director of Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute, the state's marine-mammal stranding agency. "I was told that somebody was carving their name into t[ae tail fluke. I can't really imagine why anyone would think of that idea." Thurman said it is important that people stay away from any whale parts they might find on the beach. "First of all it's dangerous. There is the potential for disease to be transmitted from the animal. In addi- tion, it's illegal. It is a federal offense that is punish- able by up to a $20,000 fine and two years imprison- ment. These animals are protected under the federal Marine Animals Protection Act," she said.