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With the possibility of a direct hit from Hurricane Irene, a mandatory evacuation is in place for the areas of the state along the ocean, inland bays, Delaware Bay, and Delaware River up to New Castle and Wilmington.
I did not drive all the way down to the beach towns because the evacuation traffic coming up was too much. I did visit some of the bay communities and low-lying communities of Kent County to see how things looked before Irene arrived. Delaware has never took a direct hit from the center of a hurricane before, but several storm centers have come within a few miles of the state, most recently Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
It looks like we made it through with relatively little damage (so far). There was a tornado in the Lewes area last night as the eye passed by, and a neighborhood was destroyed. Flooding is still going on around the state as creeks and small rivers are up to 4 feet over flood stage, but no reposrts of storm surge coming onto land that I know of.
It's pretty much done. The wind is still gusting and we're getting a little bit of rain but the eye of the storm passed by Fenwick Island sometime around 4 AM or 5 AM. My unofficial rainfall amount (via an industrial bucket that I put outside) indicates almost a foot of rain fell overnight.
Hurricanes are categorized by wind only, but the threat from Irene wasn't wind. Flooding and possible storm surge were the main concerns. Obviously any rain-making storm could do something this bad, but Irene had what it took to give the area 4, 5, 6, up to 10 inches (up to 25.4 cm) overnight.