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Note: This page is part of the Governor's News Archive, which holds press releases from January 2009 through September 2011. Since October 2011, recent news can be found in the Newsroom and archived news is available at


August 25, 2011

Great Seal of Delaware

Governor Orders Visitors to Leave Delaware and Urges Residents to Evacuate

Hurricane Irene "Serious Threat" to Delaware

As of 6:00 p.m. a State of Emergency is issued for the state of Delaware and Governor Jack Markell has ordered a mandatory evacuation of visitors (non-residents) along Delaware’s coastal areas and is strongly urging residents with the ability to leave beach communities to depart as soon as practically possible and take shelter with friends or family inland. Given the track and intensity of Hurricane Irene, mandatory evacuations of coastal area residents are highly likely. The Emergency Order is pasted below.

Shelters in the state will open tomorrow morning and a list of shelters will be issued this evening.

During a 4:45 p.m. news conference with reporters, the Governor made the remarks available here.




WHEREAS, over the last 24 hours, forecasts from the National Hurricane Center have moved the projected track of Hurricane Irene closer and closer to the Delaware shoreline, with the most recent forecasts projecting that the center of the hurricane will pass along Delaware’s coast; and

WHEREAS, Hurricane Irene is expected to cause heavy rain, severe winds, high tides and flooding, and has the potential to inflict significant damage and create unusually dangerous conditions in the State of Delaware; and

WHEREAS, the effects of this storm system threaten public safety; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary to pre-stage and potentially deploy resources and assets of the Delaware National Guard in anticipation of responding to any such threat to public safety; and

WHEREAS, based upon evidence presented to me by the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (“DEMA”), I have found that there is an imminent threat of an emergency in New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties.

NOW THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, pursuant to Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, do hereby declare a State of Emergency for New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware effective Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 6:00 PM EDT and lasting until further notice. The nature of the emergency is the imminent threat of flooding and other potentially dangerous effects caused by Hurricane Irene. Along with such other actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, I hereby order that:

  1. All non-residents located in the following areas ("Evacuation Areas") shall evacuate, effective immediately:
  2. Sussex County

    Fenwick Island
    South Bethany
    Bethany Beach
    North Bethany
    Dewey Beach
    Rehoboth Beach
    Henlopen Acres
    Broadkill Beach
    Prime Hook Beach
    Slaughter Beach
    Long Neck
    Oak Orchard

    All other locations within three-quarters of a mile of a major waterway in eastern Sussex County, including Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay, Little Assawoman Bay, and Pepper Creek.

    Kent County

    Little Creek
    Woodland Beach Area
    Bowers Beach
    South Bowers Beach
    Pickering Beach

    All other locations within three-quarters of a mile of a major waterway in eastern Kent County.

  3. All residents of the Evacuation Areas who have the ability to evacuate are urged to do so as soon as possible. All persons are advised that they should not enter the Evacuation Areas unless necessary to support the evacuation.
  4. I hereby reserve the right to add areas to the Evacuation Areas and otherwise modify the scope of the evacuation without further written order. The list of designated evacuation areas and shelters shall be maintained by DEMA and posted to the DEMA website.
  5. All Departments and Agencies of the State of Delaware shall assist in such response, recovery and sheltering activities as may be required in the areas of New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties affected by the storm system. Such efforts shall be directed by and in coordination with DEMA.
  6. All Departments and Agencies of the State of Delaware shall work with county and municipal governments to designate evacuation areas and location of shelters.
  7. Upon request by local authorities in impacted areas of New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County, the Delaware National Guard shall take such precautionary or responsive actions as shall be directed by the Director of DEMA, in consultation with the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security.
  8. Effective immediately, state and local officials are directed to remove abandoned vehicles from roads in the State of Delaware at the expense of the vehicle owner. Driving is not restricted at this time; however, residents are advised that driving restrictions may be put into place as conditions warrant.
  9. The Delaware Department of Transportation and the Delaware State Police, in consultation with DEMA and the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, are hereby authorized to order such bridge and road closures as necessary to protect the health and safety of the public.
  10. DEMA shall activate the State Emergency Operations Plan and cooperate with federal authorities, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency in making application, if necessary for relief and assistance for those towns and communities adversely affected by this emergency, pursuant to the Delaware Emergency Operations Plan and any potentially applicable federal disaster or emergency relief laws, including but not limited to the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
  11. Government entities subject to bidding requirements are exempted from those bidding requirements for the purpose of purchasing materials necessary for responding to this emergency.
  12. I hereby reserve the right to take, or direct state or local authorities to take, without issuance of further written order, any other necessary actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code to respond to this emergency.

Approved this 25th day of August, 2011, at 6:00 PM EDT

Governor Jack Markell


Last Updated: Monday, 05-Aug-2013 15:26:24 EDT
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