Weathering the Storms
When it comes to flooding and other coastal destruction, northeasters — not hurricanes — are the greater threat
By Pam George
From the October 2017 issue
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have left a monstrous mark on this year’s hurricane season, and the formation of tropical storms is still the star of Weather Channel footage. But those storms, even if they become hurricanes, account for only 20 percent to 25 percent of the major coastal flooding events in the mid-Atlantic states, according to Dan Leathers, the Delaware state climatologist. The coast has more to fear from northeasters — non-tropical storms that create the lion’s share of flooding in our area.
“We call them ‘nagging northeasters,’” says Tony Pratt, shoreline and waterway management administrator for the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. “They’re the ones that last two, three, four or five tide cycles, as opposed to a hurricane, which passes through so quickly we usually have one tide to worry about. A nagging northeaster just sits and spins northeast winds for days on end.”
2005 still looms as a high-water mark for the coastal real estate market, but the home-sales tide continues to rise
From the October 2017 issue
Ask most any real estate professional in coastal Sussex and they’ll tell you that 2017 is looking a lot like 2005 — which was, as Frank Sinatra used to croon, “a very good year.”
Those with good memories, or with access to Multilist real estate data, know that 2005 was a record-setter for the 10 ZIP codes that make up the coastal Sussex area. In that year, 1,821 single-family homes were sold at an average price of $556,294, and they sold quickly.
For the first half of this year, single-family homes in the region are selling faster than at any time since 2005 and sales volume is on pace to top the 1,917 homes sold in 2015 and 1,908 homes sold last year.
A Look Back: Growing Up in Old Rehoboth
Money was scarce, times were tough, but Dick and Anne Lynam savor memories of their — and the town’s — formative years
By Chris Beakey
From the September 2017 issue
Like many people who visit or live in coastal Delaware, Dick and Anne Lynam appreciate the area’s modern amenities. Yet the longtime Rehoboth residents are happy to share memories of earlier days, when tourist accommodations were likely to be rooming houses adjacent to unpaved roads, and when most residents worked long hours to afford the necessities of daily life.
One symbol of that hard work endures today in the royal blue Lynam’s Beach Service umbrellas and chairs that are rented from tidy sheds adjacent to the Rehoboth boardwalk. The business was founded by Dick’s family before World War II, one of many enterprises he and Anne each became part of when their respective families moved to the area in the 1930s.
By Depression-era standards, life in those years was good for both the Lynams and the Toppins, who rented out rooms in their homes primarily to people who came to the area in search of work. Anne remembers her mother, nicknamed “Charlie,” packing lunches for boarders who were building the Indian River Inlet Bridge. Dick remembers his father, Highland, cutting meat at Lingo’s Store at Baltimore Avenue and First Street in between his property-management chores.