The flooding caused by massive weather system dubbed Winter Storm Saturn forced state officials to close five roads in Kent County and eight roads in Sussex County due to flooding, state officials said.
That included Route 9 between South Little Creek Road and the fire house, Port Mahon Road, Route 9 north of Hay Point Landing Road, Cypress Branch Road at branch crossing and Ponderosa Road at Plain Dealing Road in Kent County, Delaware Emergency Management Agency spokesman Gary Laing said.
The storm also closed down Prime Hook Road in coastal Sussex County as well as part of Del. Route 1 in the beach resort area due to flooding, DelDOT spokesman Jim Westhoff said.
The National Weather Service in Mount Holly, N.J. had issued a winter storm warning for the Tri-State area and a coastal flood warning for Kent and Sussex counties early Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service also issued a high wind warning for inland Sussex County by Wednesday afternoon.
By mid-morning, the storm's high winds and heavy rains were making their effect known to motorists up and down the state.
"Snow did not materialize in Delaware, so problems in the state centered on wind and flooding," Laing said. "Winds continued strong overnight but as of 5 a.m. Thursday morning all wind advisories had expired or been cancelled."
But a coastal flood warning remained in effect until 8 a.m. Thursday morning for Kent and Sussex Counties, he said. The warning included the areas along the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay, including Port Mahon, Bowers Beach and Kitts Hummock in Kent County.
Officials at DEMA, along with officials in New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties, strongly urged all residents in flood-prone areas of the state to relocate to safer areas inland before tides and flooding cut off exit routes.
That included Prime Hook residents in coastal Sussex County, DelDOT spokesman Jim Westhoff said.
As Westhoff and DelDOT Director of Public Affairs Geoff Sundstrom surveyed Prime Hook Road they received word that the Coastal Highway (Del. Route 1) from Dewey Beach to Bethany Beach had to be closed down when water washed over the road near the Indian River Inlet Bridge. Water had crested the dunes near the bridge, Westhoff said.