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Slaughter Beach exploring ways to bounce back from storms

Delaware Public Media

A year ago, the state awarded the Town of Slaughter Beach $75,000 for coastal resiliency projects, and the town is just about ready to put that money to use.




Armed with a $75,000 coastal resiliency project grant they received from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control in 2016, Slaughter Beach Mayor Harry Ward said the town is using the money to find ways to cope with future storms - like studying beach erosion further. 


“There are a host of times when people don’t realize maybe a storm is coming or roads have been flooded and there’s that convenience factor,” said Ward, about the grant.


Ward said they’re also considering installing cameras to monitor floods.


“It allows people to first off to make early decisions about something as simple as evacuation,” Ward said. “It allows people to make decisions about whether they should be boarding up, putting up sand barriers, water barriers.” 


Before Hurricane Sandy happened in 2012, most residents in the town of 200 didn’t worry too much about coastal storms and flooding, said councilman and city treasurer Bob Wood.


“People didn’t really think about coastal resiliency,” Wood said. “They just thought ‘well, here’s my house here; we’ll see what happens.’”


But after Hurricane Sandy and other recent storms, severe flooding shook the community. During Snowstorm Jonas in January 2016, the town’s two entrances flooded.


“The only way you could really get in and out of town [was] the fire department has a great big army truck and they would actually take people who had to get in and out,” Wood said.


That’s when residents began to ask ‘how do we handle future storms?’


The grant was awarded in March 2016.

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