Dover deluge: Heavy rain floods roadways

DOVER — A storm system that dumped more than three inches of rain on some parts of Dover on Monday, including a heavy downpour from around noon to 1 p.m., made for dangerous driving and water-filled yards around the city.

Fortunately, there didn’t appear to be any serious issues despite the downpour which came on the heels of a flash flood warning for Dover from the National Weather Service.

Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman, spokesman for Dover Police Department, said if people just used common sense they would enjoy much happier outcomes in such events.

Dover police had officers in marked police vehicles with their emergency lights on at around 12:30 p.m., purposely blocking off the intersections of Water Street and South Governor’s Avenue, and also at New Street.

That didn’t seem to matter to a couple of motorists who chose to drive right past the officers and through the rushing water.

Dover police block off Water St. between Governors Ave. and New St. due to high water from heavy rain Monday afternoon. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

“There were some people who decided to drive right by and ignore the officers,” Master Cpl. Hoffman said. “There were probably three or four of them that got stuck (on Governor’s Avenue) and had to get towed out and then got a ticket on the other side.”

He said besides the normal flooding issue on, appropriately enough — Water Street — he didn’t hear of any major issues in Dover due to the soaking rain.

“There were a couple of other spots like (U.S.) 13 northbound by Olive Garden that flooded and North West Street flooded,” said Master Cpl. Hoffman. “We had a car that got stuck at North West Street and Queen Street, as well.”

Driver of this car splashing north along his way north on New St. Monday. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

The area around Legislative Hall that has been milled and is awaiting pavement proved tricky for motorists as well with lots of water, bumps and loose pieces of asphalt.

Brian Bower, of Dover, said he’d never experienced anything like the heavy rain just around noon at the Courtney Square shopping center at the intersection of Water Street and New Street.

“This road right here on the (Water Street) side of the 7-11 was flooded and down New Street was flooded,” Mr. Bower said. “A car got stuck in the water by the 7-11 and I pushed him into the parking lot because the water was getting really high.

Waters rise along the curbs surrounding Legislative Mall on Monday afternoon after more than 2 inches of heavy rain. (Delaware State News/Andrew West)

“It was almost as deep as a river on (Water) Street because I guess water wasn’t going down the drains fast enough.”

The rain eased up at around 4 p.m. which made for a somewhat easier commute for motorists.

The Delaware Department of Transportation had issued 14 warnings of high water on roads in areas from Cheswold to Little Creek to Camden from 1:51 p.m. until 4:20 p.m.

Cars slowly drive through high water on U.S. 13 near the Red Lobster in Dover on Monday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

Flash flood effects

The National Weather Service warned that excessive runoff from heavy rainfall would cause flooding of small creeks and streams, country roads, farmland and other low-lying spots.

It also said that torrential rain falling in a short period of time can result in rapidly rising water levels along streams and creeks and in areas of poor drainage.

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