Hurricane Sandy

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MILTON, Del. (AP) - State and federal officials are celebrating a restoration project at Delaware's Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell planned to join Gov. Jack Markell and Sen. Tom Carper on Friday to tout one of the largest federally funded restoration projects on the Atlantic Coast.

The $38 million project restored 4,000 acres of coastal marsh and rebuilt existing dunes and barrier beach to improve natural defenses against storms and sea-level rise.

Hurricane Sandy, noaa

Construction has begun to replace the New Castle Pier destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.

The replacement will cost $1.2 million and extend 170 feet out into the Delaware River.

Work on the pier should be wrapped up by the end of the year.

City Administrator Bill Barthel told the Wilmington News Journal that the new pier will allow the replica of Kalmar Nyckel from the 1600’s and other vessels to dock in the city.

The paper reports that the new pier has spurred renewed discussion about reviving ferry traffic between New Castle and Pennsville in New Jersey.

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Senator Barbara Mikulski marked a final chapter in her political career yesterday by a visit to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility for which the Maryland Democrat has gotten more than $160 million in federal funds during the Obama years.  

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that she ended her address with a flourish similar to that of President Obama at last weekend’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

Urging that the force be with them Maryland’s senior senator dropped the microphone and put two fingers to her lips to say good-bye.

MELFA, Va. (AP) - The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest disaster loans to Accomack County businesses and individuals who didn't seek help following Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

Officials estimate that more than 240 homes were damaged in that Eastern Shore county during Sandy, which lashed the region with high winds and more than 8 inches of rain. Most of those damages were not covered by insurance.

Monday, the SBA will open an outreach center in Melfa. Representatives will staff the center through Friday to answer any questions.

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Restoration of the marshes at Prime Hook National Wildlife refuge is set to begin June 15th.

It will be the first step in a $36 million effort to fight rising sea levels along the Delaware Bay.

Work crews will create drainage channels followed by over a million cubic yards of sand to beef up the beach just south of Fowler Beach Road to deal with openings caused by Hurricane Sandy.

There will also be a dune with grass to preserve the area and provide time for some of the wetlands adversely affected by human activity.

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The huge Viking statue that looked out over Chincoteague Pony Swim Lane is no more.

It had stood for three decades.

But it came down with the sale of the land it once sat on.

It stood 23-feet tall and was made out of fiberglass.

The statue had recently been recently restored after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

There is no word on the fate of the statue.

But the Salisbury Daily Times reports that the new owner is said to not want the Viking or any of the other things that were on the property.

It takes millions of dollars to keep the sea level rise at bay for NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

That’s what Caroline Massey, the Flight Facility assistant director of management operations told the Accomack County Board of Supervisors this week.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that an estimated $9 million has been sunk into protecting key structures against sea level rise.

Some estimates put that rise at 6 feet or higher.

Massey noted that the facility suffered $3.8 million in damage after Hurricane Irene.

A new report by the Army Corps of Engineers is warning state and coastal residents that they need to rethink their policies involving the coastline in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

For Delaware, the report says, there are two high risk areas.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that these include the shoreline of the Delaware River and Bay as well as the resort areas of the Inland Bays.

During Superstorm Sandy the worst flood damage occurred on the bay sides of Fenwick Island, South Bethany Beach, Bethany Beach and Dewey Beach following the hurricane.

Somerset County has committed half of the $8.6 million in Sandy Relief money to a number of projects including 11 new homes that could cost close to $2 million to construct.

Another $1.1 million has been earmarked for a study of public housing that saw severe flooding during the 2010 storm.

Somerset County director of planning Gary Pusey said the county is focusing on the county’s purchase of three houses, some $3.2 million slated for home rehabs and $1 million for the county’s Economic Development Commission.

The grant expires in July.

It Takes A Village Youth Program website

The It Takes A Village Youth Program in Crisfield is looking for a temporary home.

It is vacating its quarters in the former H. DeWayne Whittington Primary School this month that will be demolished and rebuilt in the fall after it was hit by waters from Hurricane Sandy.

The temporary site must be in Crisfield under the terms of grant funding restrictions.

A meeting is scheduled with the Somerset County Commissioners sometime this week to see if they can help with finding temporary quarters as well as getting an update on the facilities.

The Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia is restoring the shoreline lost to Hurricane Sandy which gouged out 1.2 million cubic yards of sand. 

Paul Bull, the deputy chief for facilities at Wallops Island, told WBOC that the beach keeps water away from the NASA launch site and protects $1.2 billion of state and federal assets.

The restoration is being aided by federal Sandy relief money to help NASA and its partners with the $11.4 million project.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Federal officials say Maryland has been awarded more than $7 million in grants for projects to protect communities against damage from future storms.

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resilience Grant Program announced the grants to 11 states in the eastern U.S. on Monday.

The largest grant was $3.5 million to create 25 acres of new salt marsh and increase salt marsh productivity at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and Fishing Bay Wildlife Management Area in Dorchester County.

The Somerset County Commissioners voted to take $700-thousand from the $8.6 million of Hurricane Sandy relief funds to pay for rehabilitation 16 public units which still have mold and other issues.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that The funds will go to the Crisfield Housing Authority which oversee the Somers cove apartments.

When the hurricane the complex like most the city was hit by severe flooding of up to 5 feet deep.

Brandywine Creek State Park website

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - State parks officials say they have permanently closed a bridge in a park near Wilmington after damage from Superstorm Sandy and flooding rendered it unsafe.

According to a notice posted on the website of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Rocky Run Bridge in Brandywine Creek State Park has been found to be unsafe for any use. Officials say that includes foot and cycling traffic.

After Sandy in 2012, traffic was limited to pedestrian use. Further flooding weakened the bridge's support structure.

Ashley Martin

Senator Barbara Mikulski was on hand for the dedication of the new City Dock in Crisfield which was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy a year ago.

Mayor Percy Purnell told the gathering that he was cutting the ribbon on the dock, which he said the city desperately needs to kick start town's economic recovery.

The 30-year old City Dock had been scheduled for repairs when the storm hit.

Meanwhile, Mikulski called the dock the symbol and the reality of economic development and revitalization.

One year after Superstorm Sandy Delaware’s tourism industry has successfully survived the massive storm.

2 million cubic yards of sand has been used to shore up the beaches scoured by the hurricane.

Federal funding was also used to widen and beef up the north beach to protect the highway in the Indian River Inlet where waves from Sandy drove sand drifts 6 feet deep over Route 1.

Sand replenishment is also underway at Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach.

In Crisfield officials broke ground this weekend for a new 15-thousand square-foot library.

On hand was state Senator Jim Mathias who called it a beautiful day for the town that last year was hit by Superstorm Sandy.

The old library is a cramped and aging structure on East Main Street but did escape damage from the 5-foot storm surge.

Plans for a new library laid in 2007 were pushed forward with a library campaign as a result of the storm.

Construction is expected to take a year or so.

Another $19.8 million will be coming to the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge for restoration in the wake of the storm-damage done to the beach and marsh south of Fowler Beach Road.

That’s in addition to $20 million set aside for beach and dune restoration after the refuge shore line was breached during Hurricane Sandy.

Don Rush

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - Beach restoration work to reverse damage from Superstorm Sandy is moving to Rehoboth Beach this week.

WXDE-FM reports that about one block will be built up each day from Virginia Avenue south.

After the replenishment project reaches Stockley Street, it will proceed north from Virginia Avenue to about Oak Avenue.

This portion of the ongoing project is expected to last about two-and-a-half weeks, with 1,000-foot sections of beach typically blocked off.

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Some city owned properties in Crisfield could become sites for new homes for Hurricane Sandy victims.

The City Council has decided to donate the properties to the Somerset County Long Term Recovery Committee for potential homeowners.

Joyce Morgan, the city’s clerk-treasurer told the Salisbury Daily Times that there are around 10 locations that were acquired after county tax sales that might be suitable.

In addition, two more were donated to the city.

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Not as many crabs are showing up this year on the boats of watermen in the Chesapeake Bay this year.

Jack Brooks, a co-owner at J.M. Clayton Company in Cambridge told WBOC that he believes Hurricane Sandy which killed a large number of crabs last October may be one reason for the decline.

Other reasons he said include an overabundance of striped bass and other fish that are feeding on small crabs.

He said the protected fish like striped bass need to be fished more to even out the ecosystem.

No buyouts for home property owners on Smith Island.

The provision has been removed from a Hurricane Sandy recovery plan for Somerset County following overwhelming opposition from state officials.

The announcement by Raymond Skinner, Secretary of Housing and Community Development came as a surprise to the County Commissioners and Smith Islanders during a special meeting yesterday.

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The Crisfield Beach is open for summertime tourists.

City officials say that there was some $120-thousand in damages with much of the sand having disappeared as a result of Hurricane Sandy last year.

WBOC reports that private donations and some city funding help restore the beaches so that sunbathers can bask on the shores just as they did before.

Wayne Swift of Crisfield told the station that the beach is extremely important to nearby damaged neighborhoods.

Money for buyouts from the Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts in Somerset County has been cut in half to $1 million for Smith Island residents with $1 million shifted to housing rehabilitation. 

The buyout money was left in despite efforts by County Commissioners to have it removed.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Raymond Skinner, Secretary of Housing and Community Development, said the funds were left in the plan because of differing views among islanders.

Don Rush

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Ocean City officials are set to reopen the landmark fishing pier that was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.

Mayor Rick Meehan will make the ceremonial "first cast" from the reconstructed Ocean City Fishing Pier on Friday morning.

The resort town sustained minimal damage during the historic storm that battered the New Jersey shore last October. But the fishing pier, first built in 1907, collapsed into the ocean.

The nearly 500-foot pier has now been rebuilt and will be open to visitors for the busy Memorial Day weekend.

There will be no property buyouts for those on Smith Island from the $8.6 million Hurricane Sandy recovery money.

The Somerset County commissioners agreed to eliminate it as an option.

John Del Duco is with Smith Island United, an organization that is seeking fair treatment, when it comes to federal money from the county’s Community Development Block grant funds.

He said that his group agrees with the decision by the commissioners.

Smith Island homeowners will not be getting federal money for damage suffered during Hurricane Sandy.

During a meeting with state officials Tuesday night they said that all of the Community Development Block Grant funding will be directed to the county for recovery efforts.

$5 million of it will go to rehabilitate and elevate houses in Crisfield and other storm damaged areas.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials say Delaware has been awarded more than $1 million in federal assistance for Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts.

Officials say recent obligations include projects totaling more than $816,877 in public assistance funding, bringing the total amount of Federal Emergency Management Agency funding so far to $1.2 million.

Additional funding is expected following state and federal review and approval.

Public assistance funding was made available for all three counties in November when the president declared a major disaster for Delaware.


The Army Corps of Engineers are now on the verge of completing an erosion reduction plan for the Indian River Inlet bridge that they drew up more than 40 years ago.

The project is being financed through the Sandy relief bill that includes funding for the original design after damage done by the storm.

It will involve construction of a huge dune along the coastal highway bridge. 

The plan is to pump 500-thousand cubic yards of sand to build a dune averaging 16 feet high allowing for, at least, a 50 foot wide beach.

There will be no new police station in Crisfield.

Mayor Percy Purnell exercised his executive power to kill the project that would have moved the department to a former bank building.

The Mayor said that the town just did not have the money with the budget looking at an $83-thousand overrun.

The Police Department moved it operations to the bank temporarily during Hurricane Sandy at the end of October after the roof collapsed at the station.