Nor’easter turns area wet and windy

 

A U.S. Postal Service worker is forced to make a u-turn on North Bay Shore Drive in Bowers Beach because of flooding during a nor’easter on Tuesday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

DOVER — The nor’easter dubbed Winter Storm Stella could have been far worse, and in other places it was.

Delaware south of Wilmington was spared from the brunt of a late winter storm that battered the northeast corridor from Washington to Boston overnight into Tuesday.

Nearly three inches of rain fell at Dover Air Force Base in nine hours, and some central Delaware’s roadways experienced ponding. Late Tuesday afternoon, the Delaware State Police reported no significant weather-related issues or accidents in Kent or Sussex counties.

No coastal flooding or beach erosion was found by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section.

The left lane on Del. 1 southbound near Dover was closed from Barkers Landing to Mulberrie Point Road due to high water and will remained closed today until noon or when conditions allow, the Delaware Department of Transportation announced.

According to the Delaware Environmental Observing System, Smyrna received .5 inches of snow overnight, while Dover had .4 inches. No snow was reported from Woodside and south.

Minor flooding on Hubbard Street in Bowers Beach during a nor’easter on Tuesday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

Northern New Castle County saw up to 3.5 inches of snow in Hockessin and the totals tapered off to the south.

While there were scattered power outages reported in Kent and Sussex counties early in the day, Delmarva Power said just after 4 p.m. that roughly 30,000 power outages existed in New Castle County, and 44,000 system wide.

Downed lines and wires caused 58 Delmarva Power outages in Sussex County and approximately 150 in Kent County.

Just before 10:30 a.m., the Delaware Electric Cooperative reported 70 outages resulting from the storm. According to spokesman Jeremy Tucker, power lines in Cheswold and Fenwick Island were briefly disabled after gusty winds blew trees onto them.

Power was restored within an hour as DEC crews removed trees and repaired the lines.

“We certainly dodged a bullet with the storm,” Mr. Tucker said. “If we had a received half-a-foot or more of heavy wet snow, combined with 50 mph winds, we likely would have seen more widespread outages.”

The cause and origin of a residential fire in Bethany Beach causing an estimated $1 million in damage was under investigation, authorities said on Tuesday afternoon.

Waves crash near beach-front homes during in Bowers Beach on Tuesday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

The blaze to a four story wood framed house in the 39000 block of Heron Road was reported at 10:31 a.m., according to the Delaware State Fire Marshal’s office.

Bethany Beach, Millville, Rehoboth Beach, Roxana, Frankford, Dagsboro and Ocean City, Maryland fire companies arrived to extinguish the fire that was under control by 11:25 a.m. One firefighter suffered a minor hand injury and was taken to Beebe Medical Center.

Late Tuesday afternoon, DelDOT announced the partial closings of more than a dozen roads in New Castle County due to fallen trees or electrical power lines. Crews were still working to clear debris in New Castle and Kent counties.

Upcoming forecast

The National Weather forecast temperatures to reach 32 degrees on a mostly cloudy Wednesday, with a slight chance of snow before 9 a.m. Snow showers could follow in the afternoon, though the chance of precipitation was 30 percent. Less than half an inch of snow accumulation was possible, the NWS said.

A west wind could gust up to 38 mph today, with breezes typically reaching 15 to 25 mph.

An overnight low temperature of 18 degrees is possible, with breezy conditions continuing into Thursday. The temperature could rise to 36 degrees in sunny, breezy conditions, the NWS said.

Friday temperatures may reach 43 degrees with clouds, according to the forecast, followed by 51 degrees on a partly sunny Saturday.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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