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Governor Markell Issues Limited State of Emergency and Level 1 Driving Warning in New Castle County and Kent County

Date Posted: Thursday, February 13th, 2014
Categories:  News Office of Governor Markell

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Driving Discouraged and Extra Caution Encouraged

With a severe winter storm generating significant snowfall in parts of Delaware, Governor Jack Markell has issued a Limited State of Emergency and “Level 1 Driving Warning” for Kent and New Castle Counties, effective immediately.  State offices in Kent and New Castle Counties are closed.  State offices in Sussex County will open two hours lateSee text below.

According to state law, a “Level 1 Driving Warning” means that any person operating a motor vehicle when a Level 1 Driving Warning has been activated shall exercise extra caution in the operation of their motor vehicle. Nonessential employees, regardless of whether employed by a public or private entity, are encouraged not to operate a motor vehicle on the State’s roadways when a Level 1 Driving Warning has been activated, unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so.

“We strongly encourage drivers who do not need to travel to delay or refrain from being on the road,”  said Governor Markell.  “Conditions throughout Kent and New Castle County have deteriorated, and it is safer not to drive if you don’t have to.  Hundreds of DelDOT crews are continuing to work on clearing roads and we will continue to evaluate conditions.”

DART has made service changes because of the weather, in its updated schedule.

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Executive Department

Dover

DECLARATION OF A LIMITED STATE OF EMERGENCY

AND LEVEL I DRIVING WARNING FOR KENT AND NEW CASTLE COUNTIES

DUE TO A SEVERE WINTER STORM

             WHEREAS, a severe winter storm is generating and will continue to generate significant amounts of snow and sleet throughout the State of Delaware, with significant accumulations of more than six inches in much of Kent County and New Castle County; and

WHEREAS, the severe winter storm has winds gusting up to 30 miles per hour, resulting in snow drifts and other road hazards that make driving dangerous and creating potentially life-threatening conditions; and

WHEREAS, on February 12, 2014, I authorized the Delaware National Guard to assist state and local officials with any necessary response and recovery activity for this severe winter storm; and

WHEREAS, the predicted weather conditions will likely continue to create dangerous and potentially life-threatening road conditions and may result in additional public safety responses;

NOW THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, pursuant to Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, do hereby declare a State of Emergency in New Castle and Kent Counties.  This State of Emergency is effective on February 13, 2014 at 5:00 a.m. E.S.T., and shall continue until terminated as provided under state law. The nature of the emergency is significant amounts of snow and sleet, and high winds.  Along with such other actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, I specifically direct and authorize:

  • All departments and agencies of the State of Delaware shall assist in response and recovery activities, as directed by and in coordination with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, in consultation with the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, necessary in those areas affected by the storm.
  • As of February 13, 2014 at 5:00 a.m. E.S.T., and until further notice, a Level 1 Driving Warning is in effect in New Castle County and Kent County.  Any person operating a motor vehicle shall exercise extra caution for the duration of the emergency.  Nonessential employees, regardless of whether employed by a public or private entity, are encouraged not to operate a motor vehicle for the duration of the emergency, unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so.  State and local officials are directed to remove abandoned vehicles from roads in affected areas at the expense of the vehicle owner.
  • I authorize the Delaware Department of Transportation and the Delaware State Police, in consultation with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and the Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, to order such bridge and road closures as may be necessary to protect the health and safety of the public.
  • The Delaware Emergency Management Agency shall activate the State Emergency Operations Plan and cooperate with federal entities in making applications, if necessary, for relief and assistance for those towns and communities adversely affected by snow, winds and coastal flooding, pursuant to the State Emergency Operations Plan of the State of Delaware and any potentially applicable federal disaster or emergency relief laws, including, but not limited to, the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The Director of DEMA, or his designee, shall be the Governor’s Authorized Representative with respect to interaction with FEMA.
  • I reserve the right to take or direct state or local authorities to take, without issuance of further written order, any other necessary actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code to respond to this emergency.

APPROVED this February 13, 2014 at 5:00 a.m. E.S.T.

Governor

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