BREAKING NEWS: Power outages, flooding continue; police enforcing travel restrictions

From Ocean View Police Department (11:45 p.m.):

Over the past hour, winds and rain subsided.  Police patrols were initiated and all roadways in town are reported to be open.  Power is still out on the east side of West Avenue and in Bethany Beach.  Many trees have fallen, however, at this time there has been no report of damage.

Tidal flooding is occurring along the White’s Creek and Assawoman Canal.  Roads in West View are in great shape and no standing water has been reported.

The situation is expected to deteriorate again as the storm continues to move through the region.

Driving restrictions are being enforced!  (See press release below.)  

Sussex County reminds residents of driving restrictions

The Sussex County Emergency Operations Center reminds the public that even after Hurricane Irene’s fury passes in the hours ahead, a State-imposed travel restriction remains in place, and motorists who violate that order could face stiff fines and jail time.

Gov. Jack A. Markell’s travel restriction, effective at 6 p.m. Saturday, prohibits anyone other than emergency responders and critical personnel from being on the roads until further notice. The order does not apply to those evacuating or traveling to a shelter.

Violators face a minimum fine of $50 and a maximum fine of $500, and up to six months in jail.

“We realize that once the clouds clear and the sun comes out, the public will be anxious to get back to their homes and businesses,” Sussex County Administrator David B. Baker said. “But for the public’s sake, for their safety and for the safety of our first responders and recovery crews, the public should not be on the road until the governor has given the all clear.”

Numerous power lines and trees are already down in the county as a result of Hurricane Irene, which is expected to continue buffeting the region well into the night with heavy rains, strong winds and a 3 to 6 foot storm surge.

To download the travel restriction order, go to