It is The Marsh that threatens our homes

June 12, 2014

I live at 112 Rodney Ave. Lewes. I attended the public hearing on the Harbor Point/Point Farm Major Subdivision/Annexation meeting at the Lewes Public Library May 28.

In response to the developer mentioning the concern of sea level rise and citing that Harbor Point Development would be 5,000 feet from the Atlantic:

The concern is not the Atlantic. At the height of Superstorm Sandy, my neighbor and I were looking out of our second floor windows watching the water from the Great Marsh encroaching on the field behind us. We watched and realized that we were in a position of potential danger. The threat was the water, which was surging toward us and then the wind shifted and blew the water back to the Great Marsh. Disaster averted this time.

It is not the water from the canal, the Delaware Bay or the Atlantic Ocean that are the threats to us. It is the water from the Great Marsh. The wetlands are the buffer and sponge for the existing Lewes citizens in the Canary Creek Development, the homes along Harborview, Hoornkill and Rodney Avenues… indeed all of us north of New Road and downstream of the Harbor Point Development.

In addition, at the height of the winds howling from Sandy we heard a very loud cracking noise in our house. Our investigation discovered that one of the five vertical steel support beams in our basement bent to 90 degrees. We quickly propped up the area with a walnut beam. The following morning, a structural engineer was called and placed three temporary six-by-six-foot beams as support.

The next day, after much of the storm water had receded, the center-replaced beam fell over. Shims were added. Again, the next day that beam fell. This scenario repeated two more times. The conversation between the three builders, engineer and myself was there was a strong probability that hydrostatic pressure from the storm pushed the floor up, bending the steel beam.

Subsequently when the water table dropped, I believe the floor retreated. Nothing of course could be proven. I am not engineer, however it made more sense that the floor had gone back down after the water pressure subsided, than the house moving back up!

Neither the engineer nor the three consulted builders had ever seen this phenomenon before. One of the consulted builders was former Mayor Jim Ford.

When considering placing impervious surfaces on the fragile Great Marsh, I ask that you consider those of us downstream and what danger it poses to us.

Janice Pinto

  • A letter to the editor expresses a reader's opinion and, as such, is not reflective of the editorial opinions of this newspaper.

    To submit a letter to the editor for publishing, send an email to Letters must be signed and include a telephone number for verification. Please keep letters to 650 words or fewer.  We reserve the right to edit for content and length.