Table 1

Storm Data*

DateNameType of StormDirectionVelocity**Atlantic CityBreakwater
Aug 1933
-
Tropical
E
76
5.0
6.1
Nov 1935
-
Extra-Tropical
NE
66
5.3
-
Sep 1936
-
Tropocial
NE
90
4.7
-
Sep 1938
-
Tropical
W
72
4.1
-
Sep 1944
-
Tropical
NE / N
91(G) / 82(V)
7.6
-
Nov 1950
-
Extra-Tropical
E
72
7.0
7.2
Oct 1953
-
Extra-Tropical
N
29
6.1
6.0
Nov 1953
-
Extra-Tropical
NE
69(G) / 65(V)
5.0
5.4
Aug 1954
Carol
Tropical
NE
57
4.4
3.7
Sep 1954
Edna
Tropical
NE
65
4.6
-
Oct 1954
Hazel
Tropical
SE / SE
80(G) / 66
4.6
4.6
Aug 1955
Connie
Tropical
S
65
4.0
4.4
Aug 1955
Diane
Tropical
SW
49
3.6
4.1
Oct 1955
-
Tropical
E
60
5.0
5.1
Sep 1956
Flossy
Tropical
E
54
4.9
5.6
Sep 1960
Donna
Tropical
WNW
83(G)
6.1
5.2
Mar 1962
-
Extra-Tropical
E
58(G)
7.2
7.9
Oct 1964
Flossy
Tropical
NE
30
4.0
4.0
Sep 1967
Doria
Tropical
-
-
-
5.0
Nov 1968
-
Extra-Tropical
-
-
-
5.1
Apr 1971
-
Extra-Tropical
-
-
-
6.7
Aug 1971
Doria
Tropical
-
60
-
4.3
Jun 1972
Agnes
Tropical
-
-
-
3.9
Dec 1972
-
Extra-Tropical
-
-
-
-
Oct 1973
Gilda
Tropical
-
-
-
5.4
Dec 1973
-
Extra-Tropical
-
-
-
6.0
Dec 1974
-
Extra-Tropical
-
-
-
6.1

* U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1966, and Delaware Coastal Management Program 1977

** Generaly fastest mile or highest one-minute value. (G) denotes gust and (V) five minute value.


In this century two major storms stand out among the many storms which have caused property damage and shoreline erosion, the August storm of 1933 and the March storm of 1962. The 1933 hurricane caused much flooding, resulting in $40,000 (1933 dollars) in property damage along Delaware's Atlantic coast. The relatively low damage costs from this storm reflect the relatively small number of structures existing in vulnerable areas. The 1962 storm occurred at a time when much more coastal development had occured exposing much more property to the full effects of a devastating storm. The long duration (60 hours) of the storm combined with an unusually high predicted tide and steady northeast winds, caused considerable damage between Pickering Beach and Fenwick Island. When all had been totaled up seven (7) people lost their lives in coastal areas within Delaware and estimated damage was $21,835,900 (1962 dollars). A total of 3,183 residences sustained flood damage, and of those 1,409 were structurally damaged. The number of business establishments that sustained damaged totaled 101. A storm of this magnitude is not easily recovered from. It's impact was felt for many years after by people who had constructed in the flood prone coastal zone.

The significant amount of coastal development which has occurred since the 1962 storm has created an increased potential for the loss of property and possible loss of human lives. A storm of similar magnitude to the 1962 storm could wreak destruction of disastrous proportions on the Delaware coast as it exists today. Coastal storms have occurred throughout history and will occur again. Safe building practices and long term management goals will aid in mitigating the devastating storm damage we can expect.

STATEMENT OF POLICY

The coast of the State of Delaware and in particular the Atlantic Oceanfront, is a major asset to the economy of the entire State and as such should be protected and preserved. The State's coast is partly protected from storm actions of Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay by a system of natural and constructed dunes providing a protective barrier for beach lands and inland waters against the actions of sand, wind, and water. Certain persons have from time to time modified or destroyed the effectiveness of this protective barrier in the process of developing the waterfront for various purposes. These practices constitute serious threats to the safety of adjacent properties and to public highways, as well as to the value and taxable base of such adjacent properties, and they constitute a real danger to the health, safety, and welfare of persons in such areas.

It is declared, therefore, to be the policy of the State of Delaware that: (1) the preservation, protection and enhancement of the beaches of the State shall be directed to make the maximum contribution to the public benefit, and (2) the State, in the exercise of its sovereign power, acting through the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, shall control the development and use of the beaches of the State so as to effectuate an equitable balance between utilization, conservation and protection of this resource consistent with sound coastal engineering principles and practices.

CERTIFICATE

I hereby certify that the attached Regulations Governing Beach Protection and the Use of Beaches and the Building Line maps prepared and maintained by the Division numbered 1-35 for the Atlantic Ocean shoreline from the Delaware-Maryland line at Fenwick Island to Cape Henlopen State Park ( set #15479-19554-B) and 1-79 for the Delaware Bay shoreline from Cape Henlopen State Park to, and including, Pickering Beach (set #15479-19555-B) are duly promulgated pursuant to Order of August 13, 1981, and amended pursuant to Order of December 27, 1983.

Date:____2-1-84____

Approved:_________________________
John E. Wilson, III, Secretary
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

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