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Milford Beacon
  • Mispillion River begins topping banks with worst yet to come

  • The Mispillion River was just beginning to slip its banks after noon on Monday with the worst of Hurricane Sandy still more than 10 hours away.
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  • The Mispillion River was just beginning to slip its banks after noon on Monday with the worst of Hurricane Sandy still more than 10 hours away.
    At about 1 p.m., City Public Works Director Brad Dennehy said a portion of Northwest Front Street, west of the Milford Police Department, has been closed off due to river flooding. The Mispillion also was spilling over onto Park Avenue at about noon.
    "It's up in the low-laying areas, but it's not too bad yet," Dennehy said. "So far, we seem to be holding our own, but we'll be monitoring it closely and dealing with the best that we can. There's definitely a concern from here on out."
    The river is currently moving toward low tide at 3:59 p.m.
    Town officials said the highest risk of major flooding will come during the second high tide of the day, which is expected at 9:37 p.m.
    "That's also when we're expecting the winds to increase, which could cause trees to fall onto power lines, causing outages in town," Dennehy said.
    No power outages were reported in the Milford area as of 1 p.m.
    Milford Police Chief Keith Hudson said he thinks the city and its residents have done the best they can to prepare for the worst of the storm.
    "I'm really proud of the people of Milford," he said about 11 a.m. "They've all done a really good job preparing for this storm, and right now, they seem to be staying put and off the roads."
    Not everyone was staying off the roads, however.
    American Red Cross volunteer Charlotte Duffy, who is managing the emergency shelter at Milford Middle School, said dozens of people arrived this morning. As of noon, the total number of people staying at the shelter was 110, up from 51 at 6 p.m. Saturday.
    "We had about eight or 10 come in last night, but most came in this morning," she said, adding that there is no limit on the number of people the shelter can accept. "The Milford School District has been nice enough to allow us to open up classroom space to house people, if need be"
    Carolyn Palmer, a HAM radio operator with the American Radio Emergency Service, who is stationed at the Milford shelter and in constant contact with the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center, said evacuees can request transportation to the their nearest shelter by calling the state's hurricane hotline at (800) 464-4357.
    "As the storm gets worse, we don't want people risking their lives to come here," she said. "People who call that number can get a lift from DART or the National Guard."
    Despite a state driving ban for non-emergency personnel, dozens of people were still braving the weather to visit local gas stations like Wawa and Royal Farms, which remained open.
    Page 2 of 2 - Gene Dorff of Dentsply-Caulk said he stopped by the dental supplies manufacturer on West Clark Avenue to ensure the facility was still dry before stopping at Wawa for a cup of coffee on his way home.
    "Everything seems fine right now," he said. "I'm an optimist. I think it will pass and we'll all be fine."
    Harrington resident Bob Pardee stopped to get gas on his way to pick up some parts for his farm equipment.
    "Driving wasn't so bad this morning," he said. "But I think it will get worse tomorrow, which is why I'm picking up parts today."
    Milford resident Violet Sorden also said was out in search of a cup of coffee.
    "I wanted to see what was going on and how bad it is out here before heading back home, where I'll stay probably through tomorrow," she said. "I'm not worried. I think I'll be ok, as long as I'm not stupid about it and go out again."

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