Route 1 closed from Dewey to Bethany

Front edge of storm passes Indian River Inlet

Chesapeake Bay bridge closes
Nor'easter-driven waves breached the dunes north of Indian River Inlet Bridge, flattening sand fences, flooding the northbound lane, closing the bridge and keeping Delaware Department of Transportation officials close by to monitor potential storm jeopardy for the bridge. This photo was taken at about 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at just about the peak of the tide. BY DENNIS FORNEY
March 6, 2013

State officials said the front edge of a northward tracking late winter storm passed Indian River Inlet shortly after high tide at 3:55 p.m.

Tony Pratt with Delaware's Shoreline Preservation Section said the storm was passing Delaware at that point and winds were expected to shift around to the north, lessening the potential for much in the way of further serious flooding at the bridge.

DelDOT Director of Public Relations Geoff Sundstrom said contractors completed the installation of steel sheeting this week to help protect the bridge from storm surges but that sheeting hadn't been completely tied into its anchoring material by the time Wednesday's storm arrived. DelDOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt arrived at the bridge at the time of high tide to get a firsthand look at the vulnerability of the bridge.

Route 1 has been closed from Dewey Beach to Bethany Beach.

Meanwhile, Maryland transportation officials have closed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge because of high winds.

Officials have closed Indian River Inlet bridge because of flooding on the approaches to the bridge. As of 1:50 p.m. March 6, traffic is closed in both directions, police said.

DEMA officials said the dune was breached north of the bridge, flooding the roadway. Traffic is being detoured in both directions.

High tide is expected about 3:50 p.m. at Indian River Inlet.

Sussex County Emergency Operations Center will activate with additional staff at 4 p.m. March 6. For questions, call 302 856-7366.

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