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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 news.delaware.gov.


August 26, 2011

Governor Markell Expands Mandatory Evacuation Order to Include Residents in Areas Most at Risk

Businesses in Evacuated Areas Ordered Closed Saturday

State Government Offices Closed at Noon today

Great Seal of Delaware Smyrna – Given the severity of Hurricane Irene, Governor Jack Markell today expanded his mandatory evacuation order to include all persons in coastal areas. He encouraged residents to begin their evacuation immediately before the weather makes leaving more difficult, and said evacuations should be completed before 9 am on Saturday.

“There will likely come a point during the day on Saturday when winds will require us to shut the bridges over the C&D canal and concerns about flooding will require closing the Indian River Inlet Bridge,” Markell said. “People need to reach their destinations well before we reach those closure points on Saturday.”

Tolls along Route 1 have been suspended to aid in the speed of the coastal evacuation and State Police and National Guard troops are assisting DelDOT with the evacuations. Evacuation routes are posted on signs along the roads and on the state’s website – www.delaware.gov.
All businesses in evacuated areas must be closed by midnight this evening, First responders, medical services and other essential personnel, food and fuel deliveries, members of the media, public utilities and other businesses necessary to maintaining the health and safety of the people in Delaware are exempted from this requirement. All other persons are advised that they should not enter the Evacuation Areas unless absolutely necessary.

The State of Emergency and Evacuation Order does not include a driving ban, because the point of the evacuation is for people to travel away from areas of potential danger, and we are certainly urging them to do so, and to do so sooner rather than later. There may come a point this weekend when storm conditions make driving unsafe, and driving restrictions may be instituted. The Governor also closed state government offices at noon today.

FULL TEXT OF GOVERNOR’S REMARKS at 11:00 a.m. News Conference
Since the order yesterday afternoon for mandatory evacuation of residents from coastal areas of Sussex and Kent, the forecast for Hurricane Irene has varied a little. At this point, we are still expecting more than a foot of rain and wind gusts over 100 miles per hour along the coast, and severe winds and heavy rainfall throughout the entire state. Because of the increasing certainty and severity of the impact, I am ordering a mandatory evacuation of residents from coastal areas in Sussex, Kent and New Castle counties and around major bodies of water in eastern Sussex starting at noon. This includes the coastal communities in Sussex, Kent and New Castle.

Those include: residents within three-quarters of a mile of major waterways in Sussex County including Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay, Little Assawoman Bay, and Pepper Creek. That would include parts of – but not necessarily all of - Fenwick Island, South Bethany, Bethany Beach, North Bethany, Dewey Beach, Rehoboth Beach, Henlopen Acres, Lewes, Broadkill Beach, Prime Hook Beach, Slaughter Beach, Long Neck and Oak Orchard.

In Kent County the mandatory evacuation is for areas within ¾ miles of the bay, including the areas of Woodland Beach, Pickering Beach, Kitts Hummock, Bowers Beach, South Bowers Beach, Big Stone Beach.

In New Castle County , the areas in the mandatory evacuation are along the coast, and include, in New Castle, Buttonwood, Bull Hill - residences around Broad Dike; City residents from River up to 3rd Street including the Strand, Deemers Beach, and the Twin Spans and Riveredge Industrial Parks. In Delaware City, from Battery Park to 2nd Street, Governor Bacon Complex excluding the Tilton Bldg State Nursing Home, all residences in the 100 block of Fifth Street including Polktown Place and Delaware City Trailer Park; and an area south of the C & D Canal east of Route 9, to include Port Penn, Augustine Beach, Bayview Beach, and all residences east of Thomas Landing Road.

DEMA will be releasing maps showing these areas. This evacuation for these areas of the state needs to be completed by 9 a.m. Saturday morning. As I said last night, there will likely come a point during the day on Saturday when winds will require us to shut the bridges over the C&D canal and concern about flooding will require shutting the Indian River Inlet Bridge. People need to travel well before we reach those points Saturday. Again the C&D bridges will likely need to be shut at some point Saturday, and people need to be at their destination before that happens
State Police and National Guard troops will assist DelDOT in implementing its evacuation plan. Evacuation routes are posted on the roads and on the state website. Starting at noon, tolls along Route 1 will be suspended to aid in the speed of the coastal evacuation. Non-essential state employees will be sent home today at noon and state offices closed in all parts of the state. We are communicating this action to schools and would encourage those in the evacuation area to close early today.

I am urging those who live in flood prone areas including around streams rivers in New Castle County and the City of Wilmington that are often subject to flooding to pay attention but we are not mandating an evacuation. Those include homes and businesses along the Brandywine River, Christina River, Red Clay Creek, White Clay Creek, Chestnut Run, Little mill Creek, Nonesuch Creek, the city of New Castle, parts of Delaware City and the coastal area of New Castle County south of the C&D canal. This decision is in consultation with city and county officials, but those officials may mandate local evacuations as conditions warrant.

DEMA is recommending that residents of manufactured housing, especially in Sussex County, consider relocating because of the potentially high winds. As far as private businesses, my order is that businesses in the Sussex, Kent and New Castle coastal evacuation areas are ordered to be closed on Saturday and into Sunday. We would hope to issue an order Sunday when it would be OK for businesses to open again, at least those providing essential services such as food and gas. We have been asked whether the current state of emergency – which began last night and is being expanded today – includes driving restrictions. It does not at this time. The point of the evacuation is for people to travel away from areas of potential danger, and we are certainly urging them to do so, and to do so sooner rather than later. There may come a point this weekend when storm conditions make driving unsafe, and driving restrictions may be instituted. For those who may wish to travel to the coastal areas to secure vacation homes, we would ask that you not do that unless absolutely necessary because of the traffic we expect to see. However, if you feel you must do so, do it today. Do not wait until Saturday. DEMA will be releasing the specific list of areas the evacuation order and recommendations apply to, along with the list of shelters that will open, though shelters should be considered a last resort.

For everyone in Delaware, the message is that today is the day to prepare for a few days of being in your home without being able to travel and without power, or to be ready to evacuate quickly with all you need should it come to that. If this hurricane occurs in Delaware as currently predicted, the damage will be unlike anything seen in this state for more than 50 years. Do not take this lightly. Today is the day to act.

The executive order is below:

MODIFICATION OF DECLARATION OF STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR THE STATE OF DELAWARE
AND MANDATORY EVACUATION OF ALL PERSONS IN COASTAL AREAS

WHEREAS, forecasts from the National Hurricane Center continue to project that the track of Hurricane Irene will proceed close to the Delaware shoreline or across portions of the State; 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, based upon evidence presented to me by the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (“DEMA”), I have found that an imminent threat of an emergency in New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties continues, and that a mandatory evacuation of coastal areas in each of those counties is warranted.

NOW THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, pursuant to Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, do hereby declare that the State of Emergency for New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware declared on August 25 at 6:00 p.m. EDT continues to be in effect until further notice, with the following modifications:

1. All persons, including both residents and non-residents, located in the following areas ("Evacuation Areas") shall evacuate without delay, effective immediately, and shall be evacuated on or before 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, August 27, 2011:

Sussex County Evacuation Areas

Fenwick Island
South Bethany
Bethany Beach
North Bethany
Dewey Beach
Rehoboth Beach
Henlopen Acres
Lewes
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

Persons in the preceding areas more than three-quarters of a mile from a major waterway are exempt from the mandatory evacuation order.

Kent County Evacuation Areas

Woodland Beach
Pickering Beach
Kitts Hummock
Bowers Beach
South Bowers Beach
Big Stone Beach

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

Persons in the preceding areas more than three-quarters of a mile from a major waterway are exempt from the mandatory evacuation order.

New Castle County Evacuation Areas

The following areas in the City of New Castle: Buttonwood, Bull Hill - residences around Broad Dike; City residents from the River up to 3rd Street including the Strand, Deemers Beach, and the Twin Spans and Riveredge Industrial Parks

The following areas within Delaware City: Businesses and residences from Battery Park to 2nd Street, Governor Bacon Complex excluding the Tilton Bldg State Nursing Home, all residences in the 100 block of Fifth Street including Polktown Place and Delaware City Trailer Park

Areas along the coastal zone south of the C & D Canal east of East Route 9, to include Port Penn, Augustine Beach, Bay View Beach, and all residences east of Thomas Landing Road

2. All businesses located within the Evacuation Areas shall close on or before 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, August 27, and shall remain closed until further notice. First responders, medical services and other essential personnel, food and fuel deliveries, members of the media, public utilities and other businesses necessary to maintaining the health and safety of the people in Delaware are exempted from this requirement. All other persons are advised that they should not enter the Evacuation Areas unless absolutely necessary.

3. All persons, including both residents and non-residents, located in flood-prone areas, including around rivers and streams, should exercise caution and are urged to consider evacuating to higher ground as necessary to preserve health and safety.

4. I hereby reserve the right to add areas to the Evacuation Areas and Flood-Prone Areas and otherwise modify the scope of the evacuation without further written order. The list of designated areas and shelters shall be maintained by DEMA and posted to the DEMA website.

5. Driving is not restricted at this time; however, residents are advised that driving restrictions may be put into place as conditions warrant.

6. 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 26th day of August, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. EDT
Governor Jack Markell

 

RED CROSS SHELTERS OPEN NOON FRIDAY

The following Red Cross shelters open at noon Friday, August 26:

Sussex County
Beacon Middle School, 19483 John J. Williams Hwy., Lewes
Indian River High School, 29772 Armory Rd., Dagsboro, pet friendly
Milford High School, 1019 N. Walnut St., Milford, pet friendly

Kent County
Lake Forest High School, 5407 Killens Pond Rd., Felton, pet friendly
Smyrna Middle School, 700 Duck Creek Parkway

New Castle County/Wilmington
William Penn High School, 713 E. Basin Rd., New Castle
Middletown High School, 120 Silver Lake Rd., pet friendly

If additional shelter capacity is necessary, alternate locations will be announced.
American Red Cross – 800-777-6620

Those relocating to shelters should bring the following personal items:
Bedding
Special needs foods, snacks
Personal hygiene items
Medications
Games, books, toys to occupy children


Storm info county contact numbers for the public:

DEMA – 302-659-DEMA (3362)

Also:
Delaware Helpline – 800-464-4357
Sussex – 302-856-7366
Kent – 302-735-3465
New Castle – 302-395-2700
Wilmington – 302-576-3914

Website updates and emergency preparedness information:
www.delaware.gov
www.dema.delaware.gov
www.prepareDE.org
www.ready.gov
www.listo.gov


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Last Updated: Monday, 05-Aug-2013 15:26:25 EDT
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