Delaware under state of emergency

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. - November 12, 2009

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Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has declared a state of emergency for Kent and Sussex counties as high winds and rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida battered the Delmarva peninsula.

Delawareans were preparing for the November Nor'easter Thursday and bracing for what is still to come.

Delaware officials are not only concerned about tidal waves, but also the duration of the storm.

Earlier Thursday, Markell authorized the Delaware National Guard to put vehicles and personnel in Sussex County in case of flooding overnight or Friday.

At Rehoboth Beach, waves were pounding the shore as low tide set in. This is definitely making high tides a major concern at the beach along with coastal flooding and wind damage.

Tony Pratt of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will be monitoring the storm over the next few days.

"We have at least three more high tides to get through before we are finished with this storm, so it's the duration of this event, that really makes it different than others," Pratt said.

Winds are gusting up to 50 miles per hour and waves are estimated to be 18 feet high.

However, just like in the Garden State, some just couldn't stay away from the sight.

"It's got its own beauty doesn't it?" Jim Gaslawski of Rehoboth Beach said as he was walking along the shore.

Rich Tarosh of Rehoboth Beach ventured into the ocean itself, which emergency responders do not suggest you do during the nor'easter.

"I went out yesterday, it wasn't too bad, but today it's a lot worse. It's pretty dangerous; there's a lot of debris in the water," Rick said.

As if the wind and waves weren't enough, drivers had to contend with sand blowing across Route 1 where one section of the highway was forced to close earlier Thursday.

According to Pratt, coastal flooding could be the worst Delaware has seen in years.

"This is one of the bigger storms we've had. It's reminiscent of storms we've had in 1992 and 1998, which were very memorable storms. I think when this is all said and done, this is going to go down as one of those top 10 storm," Pratt said.

The next two days will be the big test at the Indian River inlet and throughout Sussex County, Delaware.

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has declared a state of emergency for Kent and Sussex counties as high winds and rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida battered the Delmarva peninsula. The declaration was effective at 6 p.m. Thursday. Earlier Thursday, Markell authorized the Delaware National Guard to put vehicles and personnel in Sussex County in case of flooding overnight or Friday. High water closed one lane of the bridge over the Indian River inlet and some schools closed early because of the bad weather. In Maryland on Thursday evening, Gov. Martin O'Malley ordered the partial activation of the state's emergency operations center.

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