New projection has hurricane missing Delaware

DOVER — After uncertain predictions Thursday that had Hurricane Joaquin passing right by Delaware, updated projections have the storm missing the First State entirely.

Even so,  a front stalled over the state means a full day of rain and potential flooding.

Currently in the Bahamas, the storm is expected to move up along the East Coast but remain well offshore over the next four days. The National Weather Service has Joaquin not making landfall at all in the United States.

For the First State, that’s a welcome break, especially as wind and rain from a smaller and unrelated storm continue to pound the area. A wave of low pressure has been moving along a stalled front located just offshore, producing rain, NWS meteorologist Lance Franck said Thursday.

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Hurricane Joaquin’s updated path from the National Weather Service

Delaware is in a coastal flood warning until Sunday night and rain is expected to continue all day today. Saturday has a 70 percent chance of precipitation, and Sunday has a 50 percent probability of rain, according to the NWS.

Delaware received about three-quarters of an inch of rain Thursday and could get around 2 inches over the ensuing days. Since Tuesday, Dover has recorded almost 3.5 inches of rain.

Wind is expected today and through the weekend, mostly staying around 25 mph, although gusts could reach into the low 30s tonight and Sunday.

At noon Friday during high tide, there was heavy surf and waves in Rehoboth Beach were starting to reach the fence at the bottom of dunes protecting the boardwalk.

Delaware’s Department of Transportation began posting advisories of water roadways in Kent and Sussex counties. Prime Hook Road and River Road, in Oak Orchard, are closed due to high water.

Even if Hurricane Joaquin missed Delaware, officials have advised individuals to be cautious. Coastal flooding could threaten many areas in Sussex County, and state agencies were preparing to respond if need be.

The Department of Transportation had prepared a number of loaders near coastal areas in case sand and rain washed away roads, while Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control personnel had done what they could to fortify the beaches and were closely monitoring the conditions along the shore.

Meteorologists over the past two days had spoken of the potential for the East Coast to be hit hard by the hurricane but had also stressed its path was far from certain.

For now, it appears Delaware — and the rest of the East Coast — will be lucky.

Many events had been canceled or moved due to the storms, although the weekend NASCAR races at Dover International Speedway have not yet been affected.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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