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Governor Markell Announces Level 2 Driving Restriction Continues Until 10:00 a.m. for New Castle and Kent Counties

Date Posted: Saturday, January 23rd, 2016
Categories:  News Office of Governor Markell

Level 1 Driving Warning to be put in place at that time

Wilmington, DE – After consulting with DelDOT and emergency management officials, Governor Markell announced that the “Level 2 Driving Restriction” in New Castle and Kent Counties will continue until 10:00 a.m. Sunday, at which time he will downgrade the restriction to a “Level 1 Driving Warning.” [See Text Below]

A Level 1 warning will remain in effect in Sussex County as well until further notice. A statewide State of Emergency also remains in effect until further notice.

DelDOT workers have made significant progress plowing primary roadways during the period of the driving restriction, but will still need to do significant work overnight to ensure the restriction can be downgraded. More than 500 DelDOT employees have operated snow plows and taken part in other operations during the storm today. Crews have rotated continuously since 7:00 a.m. Friday to ensure that by mid-morning on Sunday, primary roads in New Castle and Kent Counties will be significantly clearer.

Because DelDOT workers still have significant work to do to clear secondary roads, it remains important for residents in all three counties to exercise extreme caution if they must drive on Sunday.

“Our DelDOT crews have done outstanding work today in the midst of challenging conditions,” said Governor Markell. “I’m grateful for all that they have achieved today, as well as for the tremendous efforts of emergency responders, health officials, and the more than 260 National Guard members on duty for the storm. I also thank those in Sussex County who have opened the shelter at Sussex Central.”

Significant flooding in Sussex County continues to represent significant challenges for residents in coastal areas. More than 50 people have evacuated their homes.

“The Level 2 Driving Restriction is a serious measure reserved for limited circumstances when it is vital to prohibit most people from driving, like in today’s weather,” said Markell. “However, even as primary roads are cleared and as we downgrade to a Level 1 warning, it is vital that people only drive when necessary and take every precaution when doing so. Our plows will continue to work around the clock tomorrow to make as much progress as possible in advance of the work week and our roads will be safer and clearer if as many people as possible avoid driving on Sunday.”

According to state law, a “Level 1 Driving Warning” means that any person operating a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways must exercise extra caution. All nonessential employees, public and private, are encouraged not to operate a motor vehicle unless there is a significant safety, health, or business reason to do so.

The Governor continues to monitor the forecast regularly and will remain in frequent contact with emergency management and transportation officials over the course of the storm to determine any further actions that are necessary.

As expected, the winter storm that began Friday has generated significant snowfall in New Castle and Kent Counties, as well as snow, coastal flooding, and strong sustained winds in Sussex County.

A National Weather Service Blizzard Warning continues for New Castle and Kent Counties until 6:00 a.m. Sunday. Total accumulations of 15-20 inches of snow are expected in New Castle County, while Kent County is forecast to receive 14-20 inches of snow, with 8-14 inches closer to the coast. A Winter Weather Warning remains in effect until 6 a.m. Sunday for Sussex County, with an expected accumulation of 8-15 inches inland, and 4-8 inches at the Delaware beaches. Snow in New Castle County will taper off late tonight.

A Coastal Flood Advisory will be in effect in New Castle County from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Sunday.  A Coastal Flood Warning remains in effect until noon Sunday for Kent and Sussex Counties.

At the Governor’s direction, Delaware National Guard and DelDOT began pre-positioning their resources Friday afternoon in anticipation of this weekend’s storm.  The State of Emergency declaration allowed the Governor to deploy the Delaware National Guard, DelDOT, first responders, and other agencies to open and close roadways, and take other actions to protect public safety and property during the storm event.

Crews started applying brine solution to Delaware roadways mid-week. All equipment used in snow removal operations has been checked and rechecked from the snow plows to the windshield wipers. Residents can track the progress of DelDOT plows by watching the snowplow tracker, which is available at deldot.gov, or on the DelDOT app on a smart phone.

Friday, the Governor authorized the National Guard, in coordination with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, to pre-position its forces to assist local first responders with stranded motorists, flooding, and other emergencies that may require their attention. They will remain in position to assist Delawareans throughout the weekend.

Code Purple locations are available in all three counties for individuals who are homeless and in need of shelter during the storm. More information, including a list of sites statewide, is available here. To be connected to Code Purple resources, call Delaware 2-1-1, search for “Code Purple” on the Delaware 2-1-1 mobile app or on its website at www.delaware211.org and click on the Code Purple button.

Winter Storm precautions released by the Department of Agriculture can be found here.

The Governor urges media and residents to check social media for continuous updates:

https://twitter.com/GovernorMarkell

https://twitter.com/DelawareDOT

https://twitter.com/DelawareEMA

 

 

Executive Department 

Dover

TERMINATION OF LEVEL II DRIVING RESTRICTIONS IN NEW CASTLE COUNTY AND KENT COUNTY AT 10 A.M. ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 24, 2016; AND

 

CONTINUATION OF STATE OF EMERGENCY ORDER AND LEVEL 1 DRIVING WARNING IN ALL THREE COUNTIES UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

WHEREAS, the State of Delaware has experienced a severe winter storm that has caused dangerous road conditions and property damage throughout the State, including significant snow accumulation, blizzard-like conditions and strong winds, high tides and coastal flooding; and

WHEREAS, New Castle County and Kent County each remain subject to a blizzard warning until 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, January 24, 2016; and

WHEREAS, total accumulations of 15-20 inches of snow are expected in New Castle County, while Kent County is forecast to receive 14-20 inches of snow, and

WHEREAS, a Winter Weather Warning remains in effect until 6am Sunday for Sussex County with an expected accumulation of 8-15 inches inland, and 4-8 inches at the Delaware beaches; and

WHEREAS, a Coastal Flood Advisory will be in effect in New Castle County from 9:00am until 1:00pm Sunday; and

WHEREAS, a Coastal Flood Warning remains in effect until 12:00 noon on Sunday, January 24, 2016, for Kent and Sussex Counties; and

WHEREAS, I declared a State of Emergency in New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties, which took effect at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 22, 2016 and included a Level 1 Driving Warning in all three counties, as follows:

As of January 23, 2016 at midnight (12:00 a.m.), and until further notice, a Level 1 Driving Warning is in effect.  Any person operating a motor vehicle shall exercise extra caution in the operation of that vehicle 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.

; and

WHEREAS, starting at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2016, I instituted a Level 2 Driving Restriction in New Castle and Kent Counties as follows:

As of January 23, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. and until further notice, a Level 2 Driving Restriction is in effect for New Castle and Kent Counties. Until this restriction is lifted, no person shall operate a motor vehicle on a Delaware roadway, unless such person is considered “essential personnel” within the meaning of Delaware law.  Such personnel include emergency workers, individuals maintaining or repairing public utilities, healthcare providers including hospital staff, snow removal equipment operators, food and fuel delivery personnel, and employees of any industry, company or organization that has applied for and been granted a waiver from the driving restriction, including businesses with pressing continuity and operational issues.

; and

WHEREAS, my January 23 Order (the “Continuation Order”) also continued the State of Emergency Order and left in place the Level 1 Driving Warning for Sussex County as of 8:00 a.m. on January 23, 2016; and

WHEREAS, DelDOT workers have made significant progress plowing primary roadways during the period of the driving restriction, but will still need to do significant work overnight to ensure the restriction can be downgraded; and

WHEREAS, DelDOT estimates that by mid-morning on Sunday, January 24, 2016, primary roads in New Castle and Kent Counties will be significantly clearer and that plows will have driven through most secondary roads.

NOW THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, pursuant to Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, do hereby amend and supplement the January 22, 2016, State of Emergency Order, as amended by the January 23, 2016 Continuation Order, by specifically directing and authorizing as follows:

1.     My declaration of a Level 2 Driving Restriction for New Castle County and Kent County, which took effect at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2016,  is terminated effective as of 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, January 24, 2016; and

2.     My declaration of a Level 1 Driving Warning for Sussex County, which took effect at 12:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2016, remains in place until further notice, and

3.     As of Sunday, January 24, 2016 at 10:00 a.m., and until further notice, a Level 1 Driving Warning is once again in effect for New Castle County and Kent County, as follows:

Any person operating a motor vehicle shall exercise extra caution in the operation of that vehicle 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.

APPROVED this 23rd day of January, 2016, at 10:00 p.m. E.D.T.

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