State of Emergency, Level 2 driving restriction issued in Kent and Sussex Counties; Driving warning issued for New Castle County
WILMINGTON, Del. – In preparation for a severe winter storm to impact the State of Delaware, Governor John Carney on Friday issued a State of Emergency in Kent and Sussex counties, and authorized the Delaware National Guard to assist state and local officials with any necessary response and recovery.
Governor Carney also issued a Level 2 Driving Restriction for Kent and Sussex counties, and a Level 1 Driving Warning for New Castle County, beginning at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, January 28.
“We are anticipating a serious storm, and Delawareans in Kent and Sussex counties should stay off the roadways when the driving restriction goes into effect tonight,” said Governor Carney. “That will help personnel from the Delaware Department of Transportation more effectively clear the roadways, and help us provide services to our neighbors most in need.”
The Level 2 Driving Restriction (Kent and Sussex counties) means that no person may operate a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways, except for persons designated as “essential personnel.” Travel on roadways is restricted to certain state employees, emergency workers, first responders, health care workers, utility workers, snow removal operators, private sector food and fuel deliveries, and individuals already approved through DEMA’s State of Emergency Driving Waiver program.
The Level 1 Driving Warning (New Castle County) means Delawareans should avoid traveling on roadways, unless there is a significant safety, health, or business reason to do so. All motorists are urged to drive with extreme caution.
Learn about Delaware’s three levels of driving warnings and restrictions at de.gov/weather.
Areas of coastal Sussex County are predicted to see the most serious impact from the storm, including winds of up to 50mph, which may lead to power outages. Travel will be difficult as high winds and heavy snow will result in snow covered roads and limited visibility. If travel is necessary, extra caution and preparations should be taken, such as having a vehicle emergency supply kit.
State and local officials are directed to remove abandoned vehicles from roads in affected areas at the expense of the vehicle owner after 10:00 p.m. on Friday, while the driving restriction in Kent and Sussex counties is in effect.
Under Delaware Code, failure to obey an Emergency Order may result in a fine of $50 to $500 and/or a prison sentence of up to six months.
The State of Emergency authorizes additional resources to assist with winter storm response. The State Emergency Operations Center has been activated. The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) is coordinating the state’s response, including resources from the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), Delaware State Police, Delaware Division of Public Health, and Delaware National Guard.
The DelDOT snowplow tracker will be active during the storm and is available via the DelDOT smartphone app and deldot.gov, under the interactive maps icon. Additionally, DelDOT also has more than 200 traffic cameras that are available to view road conditions around the state. Winter weather preparedness tips for home and travel can be found at PrepareDE.org.
A Code Purple has been declared across the state and shelters are opening to take in Delawareans who are experiencing homelessness. To be connected to Code Purple resources, call Delaware 2-1-1. If you see someone outside who appears to be homeless, encourage them to seek emergency shelter or call a non-emergency police number to alert the police to the situation.
How to Prepare
- Make a Plan, make an emergency kit, and stay informed. Helpful tips are available at PrepareDE.org
- Ensure that you have non-perishable food, water, and medications to last for several days.
- Prepare for power outages and have a safe way to stay warm.
- Monitor the weather through the National Weather Service: weather.gov/phi
- Monitor the roads through the DelDOT App: deldot.gov/mobile
DEMA, DelDOT, and the Delaware State Police will continue to provide updates throughout the storm.
Residents are encouraged to monitor local weather through the U.S. National Weather Service Philadelphia/Mount Holly.
Sign up for weather-related notifications at de.gov/weather.
Click here for a PDF of the State of the Emergency and Level 2 Driving Restriction for Kent and Sussex Counties due to a Severe Winter Storm.
Click here for the Executive Order authorizing the Delaware National Guard to assist state and local officials with any necessary response and recovery for this severe winter storm.