Delaware keeping an eye on Joaquin

UPDATE: The National Weather Service, at 2 p.m. Thursday, said Joaquin has become “an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane” and is battering the Central Bahamas. Maximum sustained winds are 130 mph.

DOVER — For many, this storm couldn’t have come at a worse time.

The annual NASCAR race at Dover International Speedway — a centerpiece of early fall for many race fans and Delawareans — is in jeopardy due to the approach of Hurricane Joaquin and a second storm.

Even if Joaquin moves out to sea, Delaware will still be blasted by wind and rain over the weekend.

A coastal flood warning is in effect until Friday morning, and a coastal flood watch is in place until Sunday afternoon.

Joaquin 2 pm

The National Weather Service predicts a 90 percent chance of rain for Dover Friday, with winds up to around 35 mph. Rainfall total could hit 1 inch. Saturday is expected to be lighter, but wind and rain are still in the forecast.
And that’s all before the hurricane hits.

A wave of low pressure has been moving along stalled front located just offshore, producing rain over the past few days, according to NWS meteorologist Lance Franck. That’s expected to continue through the weekend.

Joaquin could pass over or near Delaware around Sunday night, he said, although a great deal of uncertainty remains.

The hurricane, which is currently around the Bahamas, could miss Delaware, moving out to the Atlantic Ocean or making landfall around New England instead. However, Mr. Franck emphasized, citizens should not ignore the adverse conditions that will pelt the First State regardless of Joaquin’s path.

State agencies and power companies are working to prepare, especially for the potential floods and power outages.

“It’s all hands on deck here for the next couple days,” said Jeremy Tucker, a spokesman for the Delaware Electric Cooperative.


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