Governor Markell Announces Lifting of State of Emergency at Midnight

Date Posted: Sunday, January 24th, 2016
Categories:  Former Governor Jack Markell (2009-2017) News Office of the Governor

Governor Markell Announces Lifting of State of Emergency at Midnight

Level 1 Driving Warning will expire at that time

Wilmington, DE – An Executive Order issued by Governor Markell this evening will end the statewide State of Emergency, as well as the statewide Level 1 Driving Warning, at midnight tonight. [See text below and attached.] State offices will open at 10:00 Monday morning. The two-hour delay will keep more people off the road during morning rush hour while DelDOT, as well as county and municipal agencies, continue cleanup efforts on minor roadways.

“I am grateful to all of the DelDOT employees, law enforcement, National Guard members, health care providers, and others who worked hard to keep people safe over the weekend while preparing the state for the beginning of the work week in challenging conditions,” said Governor Markell. “I also thank all of the Delawareans who stayed off the roads as much as possible, limiting safety issues and allowing our plows to operate more efficiently.”

More than 500 DelDOT workers will continue to rotate continuously overnight and into tomorrow morning, as they have since 7:00 a.m. Friday to address more than 13,000 miles of roadway. Primary roads were generally clear by Sunday morning and most of the past day’s work has focused on secondary roads. In addition, more than 260 National Guard members were on duty for the storm, working to transport doctors and nurses, evacuate residents from flooded areas of Sussex County, and perform other duties to support emergency operations.

“We have made significant progress clearing roads in all three counties,” said Markell. “With the storm having passed, and knowing the work our DelDOT crews will be able to do overnight, we no longer require a State of Emergency or to ask people to stay off the roads in the morning. However, I ask all drivers to continue to exercise caution and common sense. Please leave extra time for commutes tomorrow and recognize that on-street parking will be more difficult than usual, particularly in Wilmington.”

Earlier today, Markell spent time viewing the condition of roads in New Castle County. In addition, he received an aerial tour of storm damage, particularly by flooding, in Southern Delaware, where he noted the importance of investments in beach replenishment and dunes in limiting damage. After closing between Dewey Beach and the Indian River Inlet Bridge due to flooding, Route 1 fully reopened late this afternoon. DNREC will further evaluate the impact of the storm in the coming days.

The Governor urges media and residents to check social media for any further updates on the aftermath of storm:


Executive Department 







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

WHEREAS, in anticipation of the hazardous weather conditions I declared a State of Emergency in New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties, which took effect in all three counties at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 22, 2016; and

WHEREAS, all three counties have experienced significant snow accumulations, which ranged from 7-9 inches in parts of Sussex County, 16-18 inches in Kent County, and 14-16 inches in New Castle County; and

WHEREAS, the combination of the storm, strong winds and a sequence of unusually high tide cycles has resulted in severe road flooding in coastal towns in Sussex County and in parts of Kent County and New Castle County; and

WHEREAS, all three counties are currently subject to a Level 1 Driving Warning, which advises any person operating a motor vehicle to exercise extra caution and encourages any person who does not need to be on the road to remain at home until all roads are cleared; and

WHEREAS, many first responders from fire companies, police departments, the National Guard, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, DelDOT, County governments, and other governments and agencies assisted throughout the weekend by assisting motorists, helping residents, and securing property; and

WHEREAS, DelDOT road crews have worked diligently around the clock for the past two days, and will continue to work throughout the evening of Sunday, January 24, 2016, and early morning hours of Monday, January 25, 2016, with the expectation that all primary roads and most secondary roads will be clear in all three counties by Monday morning; and

WHEREAS, the State Climatologist has informed me that the storm has moved away from the State, and the State has experienced sunny skies and temperatures above freezing for the majority of the day on Sunday, January 24, 2016, which has assisted with road clearance; and

WHEREAS, the flooding caused road damage and shoreline erosion in Sussex County, but tide cycles have diminished and expected tides over the next several cycles are expected to continue to diminish; and

WHEREAS, I conclude, based on the foregoing information, that the conditions that necessitated declaring a State of Emergency are no longer present in any of the three counties;

NOW THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, hereby declare:

1.     My declaration of a State of Emergency, which went into effect as of 5:00 p.m. on January 22, 2016, is terminated for the entire State of Delaware effective at 12:00 a.m. (midnight) on Monday, January 25, 2016; and

2.     The Level 1 Driving Warning that is currently in place for all three counties is hereby terminated for the entire State of Delaware effective at 12:00 a.m. (midnight) on Monday, January 25, 2016; and

3.     Pursuant to 20 Del. C. § 3116(a)(11), the Delaware National Guard shall continue to provide necessary assistance to state and local activities, at the discretion of the Adjutant General or his designee.

APPROVED this 24th day of January, 2016, at 9:00 p.m. E.D.T.




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