Residents of Kent and Sussex counties who live in flood-prone areas are being advised to consider moving to higher ground in advance of the pending winter storm slated to hit Delaware tonight.
Officials at the Delaware Emergency Management Agency said no evacuations have been ordered, but warned that heavy rains, high winds and possible snowfall are almost certain to cause flooding that could make leaving low-lying areas dangerous or impossible during the height of the storm.
The National Weather Service already has posted High Wind, Coastal Flooding and Winter Storm Watches, while forecasters say flooding from the storm could be comparable to recent hurricanes like Irene or Sandy, with wind-swollen tides in some area reaching as high as 7 feet above the average low water mark. Winds also are expected to remain steady at 25 to 35 mph with gusts of up to 55 mph.
DEMA officials said their primary concerns in Sussex County are coastal communities, such as Prime Hook, Broadkill Beach, Angola and Oak Orchard.
Residents of several Kent County communities also are being warned to consider relocating, including Big Stone Beach, Bennetts Park, South Bowers Beach, Bowers Beach, Kitts Hummock, Pickering Beach and Woodland Beach.
While the Coastal Flood Watch does not extend to New Castle County, residents of areas such as Bay View Beach, Augustine Beach, Delaware City and New Castle, where flooding has previously been experienced, should be alert to conditions and ready to move as well.