Flooding rampant in Sussex County

Residents should expect intermittent closures on Route 1 from Dewey to Bethany
September 30, 2016

Eastern Sussex County is under several weather advisories through Friday, Sept. 30, with some areas seeing more than 6 inches of rain fall throughout the previous day.

Multiple busy roads, including Route 1 between Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach and portions of Route 5, were closed due to flooding Sept. 29-30, and water washed over at least a dozen more Sussex County roads throughout the day as rain continued to fall Sept. 29. Poor weather conditions, including heavy rain and wind, prompted the Cape Henlopen School District and Sussex Academy to cancel all afterschool activities Sept. 29; while Cape Henlopen and Indian River districts were on a two-hour delay Sept. 30 and Sussex Technical School District closed all schools. Click here for a list of other local events impacted by the weather.

A flood warning for Sussex County is in effect until 3 p.m., Sept. 30, and a coastal flood advisory is in effect until noon Sept. 30. There also will be a high risk for dangerous rip currents through Friday, Sept. 30. A flood warning for the Cape Region is in effect until 3 p.m., Sept. 30, and a flash flood watch is in effect until 4 p.m., Sept. 30, the National Weather Service states.

In a 24-hour period starting late Sept. 28 into Sept. 29, the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk saw 3.42 inches of rain and peak wind gusts of 39 mph, Delaware Environmental Observing System data show. The Georgetown DEOS station recorded 5.59 inches of rainfall in the same time frame, while stations in Harbeson and Lewes recorded 12.07 inches and 6.25 inches, respectively. Weather service forecasts show a 60 percent chance of showers the evening of Sept. 30, a 40-60 percent chance of rain throughout Saturday, Oct. 1, and a 30 percent chance of showers on Sunday, Oct. 2.

The weather service also issued a wind advisory through 6 a.m., Friday, Sept. 30, warning that wind gusts could reach 45-50 mph. Sustained northeast winds at 15-25 mph, plus the gusts, may break small tree limbs and possibly cause power outages. Delmarva Power’s outage map only showed a few Sussex County customers without power the afternoon of Sept. 29.

The Delaware Department of Transportation has reported many roads have been impacted by flooding, and water pooling from farm fields along southbound Route 1, just north of Milton and Clifton Road, washed over the highway in an area that normally does not see extreme flooding. DelDOT reported trees are down in the same area early Sept. 29.

Trees were reported down at Old Shawnee Road at Evergreen Road; Route 404 west of Adamsville Road; on East Trap Pond Road; Phillips Hill Road at Womach Road; and on Bethel Road, DelDOT officials said shortly after noon Sept. 30.

Route 1 northbound and southbound between Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach reopened to traffic shortly after 2:30 p.m., Sept. 30, but DelDOT officials say it’s likely the road will close again with the evening tide Sept. 30, about 8 p.m., and remain closed until the morning of Saturday, Oct. 1. In the case of closures, traffic should detour around the Inland Bays by exiting at Route 24 or farther north at U.S. Route 113 in Milford. Northbound traffic should detour around the bays by exiting Route 1 at Route 54 or Route 26.

To follow road outages and traffic advisories, go to, download the DelDOT app on a smartphone or tune in to WTMC-1380 AM. To report traffic or travel problems, dial 77 from any cell phone or call 302-659-4600 or 800-324-8379.

Local road closures and advisories
DelDOT reports the following roads closed due to flooding as of 12 p.m., Sept. 30:

  • (Route 5) Harbeson Rd between Forrest Road and Phillips Branch
  • Route 5 at Beaver Dam Road
  • River Road at Armiger Road
  • Woodland Ferry Road at Old Sailor Road
  • Chapel Branch Road at Woodpecker Road
  • Chipman Pond Road between Sycamore Road and Fire Tower Road
  • Long Drain Road (Route 20) and Cross Keys Road (possible road damage)
  • Beaver Dam Road between Hollymount Road and Indian Mission Road
  • Oak Orchard Road
  • Route 36 at Lighthouse Road
  • Phillips Branch Road
  • Hollyville Road between Route 5 and Harmons Hill Road
  • Front, Chandler and Magnolia streets in Milton
  • Union Street from Federal Street to Broad Street in Milton
  • Woodpecker Road at Butler Branch Road
  • Coverdale Road at Seashore Highway
  • River Road between Route 5 and Layton Davis Drive

The following roads are impacted by water on the roadway:

  • Route 1 between Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach
  • Route 1 at Route 54
  • Route 1 northbound and southbound at Clifton Road
  • Route 5 between roads 285 and 302 (shoulders)
  • Deep Branch Road at Zoar Road
  • Chipman Pond Road
  • Stein Highway at Figgs Road
  • Woodland Ferry Road at Snake Road
  • Sandhill Road between Diamond Pond Road and Lavinia Street
  • Johnson Road Wallys Way
  • Virginia Avenue at Pine Street
  • Main Street at Iron Branch in Dagsboro
  • New Road at Pilottown Road
  • Cedar Beach Road at Lighthouse Road
  • Gravel Hill Road between Zoar Road and Springfield Road
  • Fisher Road between Cool Spring Road and Route 23
  • Old Sailor Road between Road 78A and south 13A
  • Chaplains Chapel Road north of Deer Forest Road
  • Hudson Road between Route 9 and Cave Neck Road
  • Kruger Road just west of U.S. Route 113
  • Cave Neck Road at Hudson Road
  • Route 20 at Chapel Branch Road
  • U.S. Route 113 at Route 26
  • U.S. Route 113 at Melvin Joseph Road
  • Route 24 at Millsboro town limits
  • Homestead Road at Hardscrabble Road
  • Millsboro Highway at Godwin School Road
  • Doc Frame Road at Mt. Joy Road
  • Pole Bridge Road
  • Zoar Road between Avalon and Field Wood Drive
  • Oak Road in the area of Redden Road and Seashore Highway