Storm Report #2 – Tuesday Evening January 21 (9:30pm)

(Smyrna) – A State of Emergency and Level 1 Driving Warning remain in effect for the entire State of Delaware, declared at 2pm by Governor Jack Markell, who previously ordered state offices closed at noon, sending all non-essential personnel home.  The Delaware Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated at noon, and Governor Markell has issued a verbal authorization permitting the Delaware Guard to take responsive and precautionary actions directed by the director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), in consultation with Department of Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Louis Schiliro, upon request by local authorities.

The Delaware Code defines a Level 1 Driving Warning in this manner: “Level 1 Driving Warning: A “Level 1 Driving Warning” shall mean 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.”

The National Weather Service says significant snowfall will taper off through the overnight period from west to east as bitterly cold air settles into the area.  As the storm continues to get stronger, winds will become gusty, which will result in areas of blowing and drifting snow.  As the storm moves out of the area, bitterly cold air will continue tonight and Wednesday.

In New Castle County, the Winter Storm Warning continues in effect until 6am Wednesday morning, while the Wind Chill Advisory will be effective from 1am until 11am Wednesday.

Snow amounts are forecast from 8-14 inches in New Castle County.  The higher amounts of snow will generally be closer to the Delaware River.  Snow will taper off overnight.  Travel will remain hazardous due to snow covered roadways, low visibility and drifting, and will continue through Wednesday morning.  The commute on Wednesday morning will be impacted by blowing and drifting snow, especially in open areas.  In the meantime, winds will be out of the north at 15-25 MPH with gusts open to 35 MPH, changing later to northwest.  Temperatures will be in the teens, dropping to single digits overnight, and wind chills will be as low as 15 degrees below zero.

For Kent and Sussex Counties, the Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 6am Wednesday, while the Wind Chill Advisory will be effective from 1am until 11am Wednesday.

Snow totals in Kent County are now forecast at 6-8 inches, with 4-6 inches expected in Sussex County.  Snow will gradually taper off overnight, but travel will be hazardous because of slippery roads, low visibility and blowing and drifting snow.  Those conditions will affect the Wednesday morning commute.

Actual snow accumulations vary from nearly 9 inches near Hockessin (Northern New Castle County) to less than an inch near Selbyville (Sussex County) with just over 3.5 inches in the Dover area (Kent County).

Winds will come from the north at 15-25 MPH, with gusts up to 40 MPH, then move from the northwest.  Temperatures will fall from the teens to the single digits, with wind chills as low as 15 degrees below zero.

The speed limit on Interstate 495 has been reduced to 45 MPH.  In Kent County, major roads are covered with snow, ice and slush, with heavy snow falling at times.  Major roads in Sussex County are generally reported to be wet with light snow, and a minimal accumulation so far.  All bridges are open, but the speed limit on the Delaware Memorial Bridge has been lowered to 30 MPH.

There have not been any reports of widespread power outages in the state; however residents should be prepared in the event that high winds and snow accumulations bring down power lines.

All school districts in Delaware will be closed on Wednesday, January 22nd.


Storm Report #1 – Tuesday Afternoon January 21 (4:30pm)

(Smyrna)

(Smyrna) – Delaware Governor Jack Markell declared a State of Emergency and Level 1 Driving Warning today for the entire state.  Governor Markell had previously ordered state offices closed at noon, sending all non-essential personnel home.

The Delaware Code defines a Level 1 Driving Warning in this manner: “Level 1 Driving Warning: A “Level 1 Driving Warning” shall mean 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.”

Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) officials, along with other emergency response agencies across the state are monitoring the snowstorm that is making its way through Delaware.  The National Weather Service (NWS) posted a Winter Storm Warning that is in effect until 6am, Wednesday, January 22.  NWS forecasters say that as much as 8-14 inches of snow could fall in New Castle County, 4-8 inches in Kent and much of Sussex County, with 6-8 inches in southern Sussex County.

The weather conditions bring two problems to the state – snow accumulations and high winds.  High winds will cause patchy areas of snow and ice, along with drifts on roadways.  Drivers should use extreme caution throughout the storm period.  The other problem is the extreme cold associated with this weather.  Temperatures will drop overnight across the state, and by morning, wind chills could register around -7 degrees Fahrenheit.  Those venturing outside should dress appropriately as hypothermia is a possible danger.  Pets should be sheltered or brought indoors.

Roads were pre-treated by the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) with brine, a water and salt mixture, as early as Monday in anticipation of the snowstorm.  DelDOT crews are currently salting roadways.  Road conditions statewide will worsen as the snow and wind continue.  Motorists should reduce speeds appropriately based on road conditions.  Delaware State Police are reporting wet and slippery roads across the state, with some roadways snow covered.  State Police are also reporting numerous traffic accidents across Delaware.

Governor Markell had previously ordered state offices closed at noon, sending all non-essential personnel home.

The Delaware Code defines a Level 1 Driving Warning in this manner: “Level 1 Driving Warning: A “Level 1 Driving Warning” shall mean 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.”

Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) officials, along with other emergency response agencies across the state are monitoring the snowstorm that is making its way through Delaware.  The National Weather Service (NWS) posted a Winter Storm Warning that is in effect until 6am, Wednesday, January 22.  NWS forecasters say that as much as 8-14 inches of snow could fall in New Castle County, 4-8 inches in Kent and much of Sussex County, with 6-8 inches in southern Sussex County.

The weather conditions bring two problems to the state – snow accumulations and high winds.  High winds will cause patchy areas of snow and ice, along with drifts on roadways.  Drivers should use extreme caution throughout the storm period.  The other problem is the extreme cold associated with this weather.  Temperatures will drop overnight across the state, and by morning, wind chills could register around -7 degrees Fahrenheit.  Those venturing outside should dress appropriately as hypothermia is a possible danger.  Pets should be sheltered or brought indoors.

Roads were pre-treated by the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) with brine, a water and salt mixture, as early as Monday in anticipation of the snowstorm.  DelDOT crews are currently salting roadways.  Road conditions statewide will worsen as the snow and wind continue.  Motorists should reduce speeds appropriately based on road conditions.  Delaware State Police are reporting wet and slippery roads across the state, with some roadways snow covered.  State Police are also reporting numerous traffic accidents across Delaware.


Code Purple shelters open today in New Castle and Sussex counties

NEW CASTLE (Jan. 21, 2014) – With snow widespread across the state and temperatures forecast to drop into the 20s and lower through Friday, Code Purple locations have been established in New Castle and Sussex counties to help people who are homeless find shelter. The duration of the shelters are subject to weather conditions and the resources of the coordinating agency or place of worship.

People with emergency housing needs are encouraged to call 2-1-1 to be directed to the most appropriate shelter or service.

 

NEW CASTLE COUNTY

Wilmington

Friendship House has enacted Code Purple beginning today, Jan. 21, and for the remainder of the week. Volunteers provide soup and sandwiches. Friendship House provides hot beverages, paper and cleaning products. The shelter will be open each day from 2:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew, 720 N. Orange St., Wilmington. Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 22 and for the remainder of the week, doors will open at 5:30 a.m. at this location.

For more information about Code Purple nights, call Bill Perkins at (302) 559-5716.

Salvation Army activates Code Purple when necessary. After 8:30 p.m., those at the sanctuary will go to the Salvation Army shelter, 400 N. Orange St. Men will be provided a cot set-up in the gymnasium and women will be provided accommodation in the women’s shelter. An evening snack and continental breakfast will be served before visitors leave the facility at 6 a.m.

Newark

A coalition of 10 Newark faith communities offers emergency sanctuary from dusk to dawn (6 p.m.-6 a.m.). Eight local churches rotate in serving as the host site. Volunteers from local faith communities and community organizations support guests who are homeless in a church common room with access to bathrooms, a light evening meal, hot beverages and blankets.

Those in the Newark area who are in need of sanctuary from the cold weather are encouraged to call (302) 544-0165, and sign up for services with the Newark Empowerment Center. The center’s office hours are 1 p.m.-4 p.m. The host overnight sanctuary locations for the Newark Empowerment Center are:

  • Today (Jan. 21): Newark United Methodist Church, 69 E. Main St., Newark. Doors open at 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday (Jan. 22): Calvary Baptist Church, 215 E. Delaware Ave., Newark. Doors open at 6 p.m.

 

SUSSEX COUNTY

Beginning today, Jan, 21, and for however long Code Purple is in effect: People in need of overnight sanctuary are encouraged to go to Epworth United Methodist Church, 19285 Holland Glade Road, Rehoboth Beach. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The facility does not have the capacity to house families; only single individuals can be hosted at this time. For more information, call Nan Ruhl, director of Immanuel Shelter, at (302) 604-2619.

 

KENT COUNTY

Nan Ruhl, director of Immanuel Shelter, said the overnight sanctuary at Epworth United Methodist Church in Rehoboth Beach would take individuals who are homeless in Kent County or elsewhere who can get to the shelter.

 

CENTRALIZED INTAKE: HOMELESS PREVENTION RESPONSE SYSTEM

 

Centralized Intake is a statewide program that provides an efficient and effective process for assessing individuals and families who are experiencing a housing crisis, identifying the most appropriate housing intervention needed to end their episode of homelessness, and referring them to crisis services and/or shelter to meet their immediate needs.

Anyone experiencing a housing crisis is urged to call 2-1-1.  The operator will ask a few questions to determine if they would benefit from prevention services in the community or if they need to be assessed by a housing specialist.

 


DelDOT Issues Status Update for Current Weather Event

deldot1The snow has arrived

Snow has begun to fall in New Castle County, and DelDOT trucks are on the road in what promises to be a significant snow event.

More than 400 DelDOT pieces of equipment will be working during this storm, plowing snow, applying salt and providing support to emergency personnel where needed.

Yesterday, nearly all of the roads in Delaware were pretreated by DelDOT with brine: a salt and water mixture.

As the snow begins to fall, crews will focused on staying ahead of any snow accumulation on the major roads by plowing and applying salt.

Residents are urged to avoid driving unless necessary. If drivers encounter a plow, please stay back at least 1,000 feet from the rear of the plow, and never pass a plow if its blade is down.

Residents are also reminded that in case of significant weather events, the state of Delaware has a system of driving restrictions, with varying levels of restrictions, depending on the severity of the situation.

Those levels are explained in detail in DelDOT’s Snow FAQs.   Here is a link to the FAQs — http://deldot.gov/home/faq_snow/

 


DelDOT Preparing for Freezing Temperatures Tonight and Tomorrow

With temperatures expected to plummet below freezing after sunset today, DelDOT crews will be spending the afternoon applying salt to Delaware roads.

The goal is to have all of the normal salting routes treated before rush hour. In New Castle County, every primary, secondary and local road maintained by the state will be treated. In Kent and Sussex Counties, primary and secondary roads will be treated and on local roads the normal salting operations will be completed, including intersections and known trouble spots.

Crews will remain working into the evening hours until the roads dry. DelDOT crews will be inspecting road conditions into the early morning hours and treating problem areas as needed.

Motorists are asked to complete their trips, if possible, before 6 p.m. tonight as roads are expected to freeze by that point. Despite the best efforts of the DelDOT crews, there could still be icy spots on roads.

Motorists that encounter DelDOT trucks applying salt should stay at least 150 feet away from the back of the truck. Following too closely limits the distribution of salt on roads.