During the winter months, Delaware residents become well-acquainted with the words, “A winter storm warning is in effect.” These storms are typically northeasters and have the potential to cause thousands of dollars in damage to property as well as threaten lives. As a result, many of us heed the warning and use it as a signal to listen for school closings and to run to the store to stock up on bread and milk and other sundry items.
“Stormy weather is not just relegated to the winter months, however,” says Dr. Wendy Carey, coastal processes specialist for the University of Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service. “Although northeasters are more common from October through March, they can strike at any time of the year. And from June 1 through the end of November, Delaware faces the added threat of hurricanes.”
On Wednesday, February 7, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington, Carey will present “Stormy Weather: Delaware Coastal Floods and Fury.” The lecture, which includes lunch, is sponsored by the University of Delaware Graduate College of Marine Studies and the Sea Grant College Program. The event costs $10 per person, and advance reservations are required.
During her talk, Carey will explain the difference between a northeaster and a hurricane; how these storms develop; the coastal and inland damages that can occur; and the measures that homeowners, businesses, and communities can take to prepare for coastal storms.
“My goal is to increase awareness, through education, of the threats of coastal storms and, more specifically, of the potential hazards posed by northeasters. Many people are already aware of the dangers of a hurricane; however, northeasters are significant storms in their own right,” says Carey. “Because northeasters are more frequent, have longer durations, and impact much larger areas, their total destructive power can equal or exceed that of a hurricane, especially in our area.”
Carey will also present a brief overview of several significant storms in Delaware’s history. Fea-tured among these storms will be the great Atlantic storm that struck Delaware on March 6–8, 1962. Considered to be Delaware’s storm of the century, this northeaster resulted in several deaths and caused millions of dollars in property damage. Carey will also present a portion of the research conducted by
Dr. Kelvin Ramsey, a geologist at the Delaware Geological Survey, on the hurricane of 1878 that tracked though Wilmington, Delaware.
Carey received her bachelor’s degree in geology from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in marine studies from the University of Delaware Grad-uate College of Marine Studies. Currently, Carey is also assisting the City of Lewes and the Town of Bethany Beach in advancing public awareness of coastal storms and other hazards through Project Impact, a Federal Emergency Management Agency initiative.
The lecture includes lunch at the award-winning Hotel du Pont. To reserve your seat, at $10 per person, call (302) 831-2841. Or e-mail your reservations to MarineCom@udel.edu.