Update: wind gusts expected to lessen tonight

BOWERS – About 200 power outages remained around 9:45 a.m. Monday as gusting winds affected service throughout Kent and Sussex counties.

The Delaware Electric Cooperative expected to be responding to scattered outages throughout the day, spokesman Jeremy Tucker said, and 10 separate locations had issues by mid-morning.

The National Weather Service predicted upcoming relief from the gusts:

“Winds diminish (Monday night), generally to 15-20 mph with 20-30 mph gusts through midnight or so, then winds diminish to 5-10 mph in outlying areas, and to 10-15 mph near the coasts.

“Winds may become light in some spots well after midnight and towards daybreak Tuesday.”

About 1,000 DEC members lost power at some point, including 500 in the Long Neck area. Power was cut to a large tree falling on lines, but restored by around 7 a.m.,

Outages continued in the Cheswold, Harrington and Camden areas, with power restored in Bowers, according to Mr. Tucker.

Saturated ground due to recent rain caused many trees to be easier uprooted. The trees needed to be removed, lines rebuilt and poles secured before power could be safely restored.

The wide ranging outages – only a few in some spots – challenged the 40 linemen to respond quickly to the scattered areas.

“Weather drives a lot of what we do and it takes time to clear an area for safety and then work on the power source itself,” Mr. Tucker said.

Prompted by weather forecasts Sunday, DEC had crews on standby to address upcoming restoration needs.

“We were prepared,” Mr. Tucker said. “It’s a 24 hour a day business, so we can be called at any time to respond.”

While Mr. Tucker described DEC’s in-house power map as “really sophisticated” and able to detect outages immediately, he still encouraged members to call 855-332-9090. Also, the cooperative posted a map of expected wind gust totals on its Facebook page, along with notifications on the DEC app.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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