Area recovering from major snowstorm

 

DOVER — Sunday morning found many Kent Countians shoveling snow instead of sitting in pews.

Over at North Kitts Hummock, Sam and Pauline Cannan remained in awe over the “amazing” miracle that prevented their waterfront property from flooding.

Starting around 6:30 Saturday morning they watched the waves crash onshore.

“The water would go flying through the air and then come down as ice,” Pauline Cannan said Sunday afternoon. “It was totally amazing.”

A little ice usually forms, she said, but never have they seen anything like what happened Saturday.

The couple said ice walls acted like dams to keep water from coming up to their property as it did in 2008 when the Delaware Bay lapped at the lip of their door.

Ms. Cannan described how they watched the ice build up. They also could see churning on the bottom of the bay, resulting in more ice.

Ice walls usually are Arctic-type things, Ms. Cannan said, not something seen in Delaware.

“My husband who has lived on the water, the Chesapeake and Delaware, for 60 years has never seen it before,” she said.

Ms. Cannan attributed it to the high winds.

“The ice walls are higher than my husband,” she said, “so maybe 7 or 8 feet.”

“Eight feet,” piped in Mr. Cannan.

“We didn’t have any flooding and we would have,” his wife said. “Incredible.”

She said the ice wall prevented a breach in the dunes, which happened on the south end of Bay Road, with water overflowing into the marsh. The Cannans live on the north end.

“It’s the white cliffs of Dover,” she said. “That’s all ice. So there’s no beach right now.”

However, she is confident the sand and beach will return in time.

“It’s a living bay so it has to get back to good because the horseshoe crabs will need a place to lay their eggs in the spring.”

Digging out

While coastal Kent and Sussex counties suffered major flooding and beach damage, central Delaware bore the brunt of a heavy snowfall from the storm that started Friday afternoon and didn’t let up until early Sunday.

Much of Kent County measured double digit amounts of snow Sunday morning with Woodside recording the most at 17.2 inches, according to the Delaware Environmental Observing System.

Other final inch counts: west Dover, 14.2; Dover, 11.2; Frederica, 10.3, Harrington, 13.1, and Smyrna, 9.7.

Amounts in Sussex County ranged from 2.5 at Nassau to 8.8 at Laurel.

New Castle County recorded varying amounts from 7.1 inches at Blackbird to 13.1 in the town of New Castle.

Sunday evening a Level 1 Driving Warning remained in place throughout the state, the Delaware Department of Transportation said. It encouraged residents to stay off roads unless necessary.

“Our snow plows still have a lot of work to do,” it said on its Facebook page.

Many school districts cited road conditions in announcing they wouldn’t hold school today. All Kent County public school districts posted closings on schoolclosings.delaware.gov/. Also closed today are Campus Community, Positive Outcomes and St. Thomas Moore.

Smyrna students previously were scheduled to be off for an in-service day.

In Sussex, Laurel, Seaford, Indian River, Woodbridge and Sussex Technical districts also announced they would be closed on the state’s school closure website.

Wesley College and Delaware State University also announced that classes were canceled today.

A taxing deal

Midday Sunday Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen took to Facebook to share an update on how the city was faring.

“Crews are working on secondary roads in the Dover limits and DelDOT is out in full swing as well,” the post said. “Just a lot of snow to move, and there is no way to avoid snow from going in the aprons of driveways … So you may have to shovel that area again. Sorry!!”

The post also advised that trash and recycling pickup scheduled for Monday would be postponed until Tuesday. Residents were asked to delay putting out trash containers until 7 a.m. Tuesday.

He later compared a snowstorm to a tax return.

“You know that you’re going to get something back, but you just don’t know when or how big it’s going to be,” Mayor Christiansen said.

He said that the city did a good job preparing for the storm, but added there’s always room for improvement.

“I think we did the best that we could,” he said. “I’m going to take a second spin around the city and check on the roads to see where help may be needing cleaning up some of the streets.”

Camden-Wyoming resident Curtis Ducken shared the sentiment.

“I think they did a pretty good job with the amount of snow that we had,” Mr. Ducken said. “I know they didn’t get to it right away, but in my eyes I think they were waiting until the snowstorm was over with to get everything done.”

As he shoveled his driveway on Sunday afternoon Mr. Ducken said he took that same approach.

“I wasn’t really prepared for it,” he said. “I didn’t think it was going to be that bad.

“Honestly I like the snow. I don’t like shoveling, but I like playing in it.”

Still, he hopes this is the last snowstorm of the year.

“We’ve had our fair share,” Mr. Ducken said. “I hope it snows up in the mountains or in the Poconos, but not around here.”

While Mr. Ducken likes playing in the snow, Dover residents Megan and Jon Lloyd Jr. couldn’t coax their son into the walls of white.

“We got about 13 inches here in Dover,” Mr. Lloyd said. “This was my son’s first big snowfall and he hated it.”

Wanting to get a photograph of son LJ in the snow, Mr. Lloyd drafted his son’s favorite Disney toys. “I tried to show him Mickey was having a great time out there.

“It didn’t work.”

Staff writer Arshon Howard contributed to this report. He can be reached at 741-8230 or ahoward@newszap.com.

 

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