Hermine could bring flooding to Delaware


Projected path of Hermine, according the National Weather Service’s 5 p.m. Friday briefing.

DOVER – Delaware  is under a tropical storm warning with Hermine coming up the Atlantic coast, the National Weather Service said Friday afternoon.

“There remains quite a bit of uncertainty with the track east of our coasts Sunday through Monday, as the storm should slow and meander some which will prolong the coastal and marine impacts,” said the National Weather Service in a weather briefing package.

Forecasts said there could be 4 or more inches of rain in Sussex and there was a “high confidence” of coastal flooding and beach erosion.

“Tropical Storm Hermine is currently centered over eastern South Carolina,” the National Weather Service said in 6:30 p.m. Friday weather statement. “Hermine is expected to move northeastward into the Carolinas on Saturday and off the mid-Atlantic Coast Saturday night.

“The storm is then expected to slow down or stall off the Delmarva and New Jersey coasts Sunday and Monday before gradually moving away from the area during the middle of next week.”

Major flooding could occur about 11 a.m. Monday at high tide in Sussex County, the forecasters said.

Areas of minor flooding are expected Saturday evening during high tide, then minor to moderate flooding Sunday morning, the forecasters said.

“Given multiple rounds of tidal flooding, water in the back bays will have a hard time draining between tidal cycles which should lead to prolonged and significant flooding,” the National Weather Service said.

Significant beach erosion is expected due to large wave action and this prolonged event. Beachgoers should note that rip currents will be prevalent in dangerous surf.

Delawareans should expect tropical force winds, with gusts 39 mph or more along the coast. Strongest winds, forecasters said, would be Saturday night into Monday.

The track of the storm is not known at this point, but rainfall could total 1.5 inches or more in Kent County through Monday morning, and 4-plus inches in Sussex County.

“Sussex County may escape a direct hit, but the prolonged effects of this storm may be just as bad if not worse,” Sussex County EOC Director Joseph L. Thomas said. “Two to three days of rain, winds and tidal surge could really cause a lot of trouble for the beaches and low-lying communities.

“If this storm parks itself off our doorstep, whether it’s a direct hit or a glancing blow it really doesn’t matter. We’ll have flooding, wind damage, road closures, power outages, everything you would expect. The public should prepare now for those likely possibilities.”

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