Storm Report #3 – Monday March 3 (11:30am)
(Smyrna) – The Winter Storm Warning, issued by the National Weather Service (NWS), remains in effect for New Castle and Kent Counties until 4:00pm today, March 3rd. Sussex County is also under a Winter Storm Warning until 6:00pm today.
Also remaining in effect are the a State of Emergency and a Level 1 Driving Warning, which went into effect at midnight, and were issued yesterday by Governor Jack Markell. Delaware law states, 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.”
DEMA activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) has been activated since 8:00pm last night. The EOC activation brings multiple response agencies together with DEMA serving as the coordinating lead agency. DEMA is working along with other emergency response agencies across the state to monitor conditions caused by the winter storm and take appropriate action.
State of Delaware offices are closed today, during regular business hours 8am to 4:30pm.
The weather forecast has been adjusted and now predicts accumulation 4-8 inches of snow statewide. Some areas still have the possibility of seeing greater amounts, particularly a band in southern Kent County. Snow will fall moderate to heavy at times before ending late afternoon. Winds will be 10-15 MPH with gusts up to 25 MPH in New Castle and Kent Counties. Slightly higher winds are expected in Sussex County, with gusts up to 35 MPH.
Road and weather conditions vary, with ice covered by snow in many areas. Roads across the state are slippery and police in all three counties have reported a number of motor vehicle accidents, a few with personal injuries. Police are also dealing with disabled vehicles. The speed limit on Interstate 495 in New Castle County has been reduced to 45 MPH. DelDOT is plowing and salting roadways in across Delaware, concentrating on primary roads, bridges, bus routes, and toll plazas. The weather has also caused changes in DART transit service today. Details on bus routes and changes can be found at http://www.dartfirststate.com. Click on “Alerts” for more information.
All public schools in Delaware are closed today. The University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Wilmington University, Wesley College, and Delaware Technical and Community College are also closed.
Near-record cold weather will follow the storm on Monday, as temperatures in some portions of the state could be in the single digits Monday night and overnight until Tuesday, but slightly higher in the southern portion of Delaware.