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5 inches of rain falls at Rehoboth Beach; Sandy's winds now 90 mph

11:43 AM, Oct 29, 2012   |    comments
Sandy trigged street flowing in Bowers Beach, Del. Monday. Image by The News-Journal.
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REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (News Journal) -- Heavy rain and pounding surf from the advance of a stronger Hurricane Sandy  closed numerous coastal roads in Delaware Monday and caused hundreds of power outages across the state, and with more damage expected Gov. Jack Markell announced he is seeking a federal disaster declaration for the state.

Sandy's winds have reached 90 mph, according the an 11 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.

Rainfall at Rehoboth Beach totaled more than 5 inches just before 11 a.m.

In Dewey Beach, nearly all roads off Del. 1 towards Rehoboth Bay in the southern part of town are flooded nearly to Del. 1. Waves are lapping on Dickinson Street at Del. 1 with The Rusty Rudder and The Lighthouse surrounded by floodwater. The hotel construction site at Ruddertowne is all under water. Bayard Avenue, which regularly floods during storms, is once again under water.

Near Slaughter Beach, water spilled over the marshes and covered several hundred yards of Del. 36, making it impassable for normal vehicles.

East of Odessa, a foot of water was reported on one section of Del. 9 near Old Corbitt Road.

Gov. Jack Markell said this morning that Delaware's coast is expected to see record-breaking high tides.

Sustained winds of 50 miles per hour will be felt throughout the state with gusts reaching 75 to 80 mph earlier this afternoon than initially anticipated.

The winds could exasperate flooding along the coast because it is blowing north to northwest, Markell said. As of this morning, waves were "crashing on Route 1" south of Dewey Beach, he said.

Markell said it is important for people to follow the driving ban now because conditions will start to worsen this afternoon.

"We didn't want people driving to work and then driving back in dangerous conditions or getting stuck," Markell said. "The problem is, if you didn't comply [with the ban], you could be cut off. First responders will try to get to you, but there are no guarantees."

Delmarva Power reported more than 4,000 electric outages across the Delaware and nearby Maryland at 11:30 a.m. and spokesman Nicholas Morici said earlier they are storm-related.

The News Journal

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