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DEMA ponders how it would respond to a storm like Harvey

Delaware Public Media

As Tropical Storm Harvey continues to flood Southeast Texas and other part of the Gulf Coast, Delaware’s emergency management agency is examining what it would do if a similar storm hit the Delaware coast.

Last Friday as Harvey started making landfall, officials at the Delaware Emergency Management Agency came together to discuss how it would deal with a storm like Harvey if it hit the First State.

DEMA’s director AJ Schall said he believes the state’s plans are sound, but such a storm would push them to the limit. In a situation like Harvey, he said, DEMA would work to get warnings out to the public quickly.

They’d then ask Gov. John Carney (D) to sign an executive order advising people to leave Sussex County.

“If we were gonna get hit by 20-30-40 inches of rain, we’d have to get the tourists out first, then we’d have to communicate with our partners in Virginia and Maryland on how we’re going to do evacuations up the Mid-Atlantic coast to ensure there’s order and time to execute those,” Schall said.

Schall says he has reached out to the Texas Division of Emergency Management offering them any assistance possible.

“The whole Gulf Coast community is in our thoughts right now. If there’s any way Delaware can help, we’re definitely going to assist as missions and requests come in later on this week,” Schall said.

Meanwhile, a storm is brewing on the Southeast coast that the National Weather Service said could be declared a tropical storm in the next 12 to 24 hours.

What that would look like in Delaware is likely an inch or less of rain, said Ray Kruzdlo, a senior service hydrologist with the National Weather Service.

Kruzdlo said Delaware will see some winds pick up along the coast, with gusts of 35 to 40 miles per hour, but that won’t last a long time.

“We will see some coastal impacts. We’d typically see some rough surf, elevated waves, and some rip currents. There are always rip currents around, but you’ll have more of them.”

The rain will be finished by daybreak Wednesday, Kruzdlo said.

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