After days of fearing the impact of Hurricane Sandy, the Smyrna-Clayton area walked away Tuesday with minimal damage in the aftermath of the storm.
Hurricane Sandy weakened after making landfall near Atlantic City, N.J. Monday night, but high winds brought down electric lines throughout Delaware, while more than eight inches of rain, tidal flows, and "Nor'easter" winds caused flooding in many areas.
Gov. Jack Markell said Tuesday morning in a press conference residents were "fortunate" to escape the worst of Hurricane Sandy, and credited residents for following evacuation orders and driving restrictions; plus Delaware saw a lighter-than-expected punch from the storm.
"Looking at the devastation (in other states) around us, we were somewhat fortunate," Markell said. "We had significant flooding, 40,000 people without power, but I feel fortunate we escaped the brunt of it."
Smyrna Mayor Pat Stombaugh declared a State of Emergency Monday beginning at 6 p.m. and ending Tuesday at noon.
Woodland Beach was one of the areas with flooding issues. Woodland Beach Road at the Route 9 intersection was closed due to flooding. Woodland Beach was one of the evacuated coastal areas that remained off-limits Tuesday because of flooded roads.
Smyrna Town Manager Dave Hugg said the town had minimal damage and no outages: "Crews were here throughout the storm and are wrapping up this afternoon [Tuesday]."
There was a minor leak at town hall and no leaks at the library. A few trees were damaged, including one at the park. Hugg said the gate at Lake Como had been left open during the storm, but has since been closed.
Smyrna Town Hall and the library were closed Monday and Tuesday. Town Hall will reopen on Wednesday. Trash will be picked up on Thursday, Nov. 1 with recycling set to be picked up Saturday, Nov. 3.
Clayton Town Hall was also closed during the storm but will reopen Wednesday for regular hours. Like Smyrna, Clayton didn't see much damage from the storm either.
"We really didn't have a whole lot," said Jeff Hurlock, town foreman.
He said one wire broke loose from a transformer and about 200 customers lost electric, but had power back soon after. Hurlock said the town mainly worked to keep storm drains open.
Schools in the Smyrna School District were closed Monday and Tuesday, and will reopen Wednesday, Oct. 31.
Smyrna school used as shelter
Roughly 970 people found shelter in the Red Cross shelters set up throughout the state, including 67 people at Smyrna Middle School.
Smyrna Middle School was one of seven shelters across the state. The shelter, as well as the shelter at Middletown High School, closed at noon on Tuesday while the remaining shelters remained open.
Red Cross Shelter Supervisor Shelly Talmo said more people were expected at the Smyrna Middle School shelter but things went well.
"People just needed to know what was going on outside," Talmo said. "When you're in here, you tend to not know what's going on, but it was great."
NEWS EDITOR BEN MACE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS STORY.
Email Jennifer Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.