delware environmental institute

News Journal: Rising seas threaten Delaware coastal areas

Along Prime Hook Beach, one of Delaware's most flood-threatened spots, longtime resident James A. Joyce Jr. said he pays attention to hurricane hazards, but worries more often about winter northeast storms.

"I've been here 18 years now and we've been fortunate so far," Joyce said. "None of the hurricanes have really hit us hard. But hurricanes are always bad for somebody, and eventually our luck is going to run out."

For Delaware's coastal residents, all storms – be it a fast moving but highly destructive hurricane or the slow, incessant pounding of a nor'easter – spell flooding and erosion at the least and property damage at the worst.

And with sea level rise, the impact from storms stand only to get worse, said Susan Love, a Delaware Coastal Programs manager.