Coastal flooding anticipated for Kent, Sussex counties

The state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Thursday closed the northside beach at Indian River Inlet south of Dewey to shore up the stretch of land in advance of high surf and storm surge forecast with the approach of Hurricane Dorian. The Division of Soil and Water was relocating sand to stabilize the beaches in an effort to prevent further damage. (Submitted photo/Rich King)

DOVER – Coastal areas in Kent and Sussex counties are under a coastal flood advisory from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. today as Hurricane Dorian passes by the Mid-Atlantic states off the Atlantic coast this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The NWS in Mount Holly, New Jersey, said Dorian continues to move northeastward up the Southeastern coastline. By Saturday, portions of New England may be impacted as the center of Dorian passes well offshore.

In the meantime, minor to moderate coastal flooding from the storm surge and damaging winds will continue to move into the southern Mid-Atlantic. Brief tornadoes in eastern North Carolina can also be expected. 

The NWS said a coastal flood advisory means that minor tidal flooding is expected, which often results in some road closures. Usually, the most vulnerable roadways will flood.

Coastal flooding in Kent and Sussex counties is most likely to occur during high tide on the New Jersey and Delaware oceanfront between 2 and 3 p.m. this afternoon. High tide on the back bays and along Delaware Bay occurs later than the high tide on the oceanfront.

Meteorologists from the NWS said up to one foot of inundation above ground level is possible in low-lying areas near shorelines and tidal waterways. Localized roadway flooding is expected. Some roads may be closed due to high water.

In preparation of a coastal flooding event, individuals should not leave their vehicle at a location that is prone to tidal flooding or drive through flood waters because the water may be deeper than it appears.

The NWS forecast in Dover today is calling for scattered showers, mainly before 8 p.m. with a high near 72 degrees. It is expected to be breezy, with a northeast wind 18 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. The chance of precipitation is 50 percent.

The Dover area is expected to see cloudy skies tonight, gradually becoming partly cloudy, with a northeast win of 18 to 20 mph and gusts as high as 28 mph. The chance of precipitation will drop to 30 percent.

The NWS forecast for Lewes is calling for rain and then showers likely after 2 p.m. and a high near 73 degrees. Winds will be coming from the northeast at 24 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 41 mph possible. The chance of precipitation is 80 percent.

Showers are expected to continue in Lewes tonight, mainly before 8. It is expected to then become cloudy, then gradually becoming partly cloudy, with a low around 65. Windy conditions will continue with a north wind 23 to 28 mph decreasing to 17 to 22 mph after midnight. The chance of precipitation is 60 percent.

The NWS is calling for mostly sunny skies on Saturday with a high near 79.

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