Gov. John Carney said Delaware residents suffered “significant property damage,” mostly in Kent County and mostly from three tornadoes spun off of tropical storm Isaias.
Carney said the twisters started in Sandtown and moved north through the Dover area toward Middletown.
First responders were answering calls for help, including multiple water rescues as rivers and creeks flooded, the governor said. Winds in the Middletown and Townsend area knocked over four tractor-trailers.
“We’re working on supporting rescue and recovering activities across the state, mostly in homes that were more damaged,” he said.
Facebook and other social media was bombarded with images of downed trees and power lines, homes and buildings with roofs, siding and sometimes entire walls torn off.
A.J. Schall, director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, was leading the response and trying to assess the damage, Carney said.
He said there were significant power outages, including at his home, in the morning. Delmarva Power said more than 50,000 customers were without electricity at 4 p.m.
Those who suffered property damage are being asked to fill out this DEMA form.
There was significant flooding up and down the state, closing many roads during the day and flooding parking lots and businesses.
“So watch the high waters,” Carney said. “Be careful.”
Treat all downed power lines as if they are live, officials said.
Dover Mayor Robin Christensen declared a state of emergency around 11 a.m. and warned residents to stay off the roads.
In Newark, the Christina River had flooded the parking lot and into rooms on the first floor.
The Aetna Hose Hook and Ladder Co. Newark helped about 200 people evacuated from the motel before water overtook the first floor rooms.
About 25 were taken to a shelter set-up by the American Red Cross at Glasgow High School in coordination with the New Castle County Office of Emergency Management.