February 28 – March 4 is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Delaware

SMYRNA, DE: February 28th to March 4th is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Delaware.  Severe Weather Week Proclamation 2022.  From significant flooding to tornadoes and snowstorms, the past several years have seen active weather events across Delaware and throughout the region.  Knowing about the weather hazards and how to prepare can make a life-saving difference.  

The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) is collaborating with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Mount Holly, New Jersey, the Center for Environmental Monitoring and Analysis (CEMA) at the University of Delaware, and Delaware Sea Grant to raise awareness.  Flooding, coastal hazards, thunderstorms, tornados, and lightning are among the weather threats to Delaware.  Links to information on these examples that could impact people in Delaware, sometimes without advance warning, can be found on a special “Severe Weather Awareness Week” National Weather Service webpage weather.gov/phi/demaseverewxweek.

The webpage also contains links to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Weather-Ready Nation website.  Information on how to make a family plan and how to make a preparedness kit can also be found on the page with a link to preparede.org.  Follow along on social media as we cover a different weather hazard each day, providing historical context and tips for how to stay safe.

Severe Weather Awareness Week this year roughly coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Storm of ’62.  The devastating Ash Wednesday Storm in 1962 destroyed 1,932 houses along Delaware’s coast.  Capping off Severe Weather Awareness Week, Delaware Sea Grant, the Center for Environmental Monitoring and Analysis, and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency will be presenting, “Are You Storm Ready?  Insights from the Storm of ’62 and Other Extreme Weather Events in Delaware” on March 3, 2022 at 7:00pm.  This 90-minute virtual workshop will provide an overview of the Storm of ’62 in the context of more recent weather events, will discuss how to build storm readiness and resilience, and will provide emergency preparedness tips as well as a question-and-answer session with the experts.  The session is free of charge, but advanced registration is required.  To register for the free event, follow this link: https://www.deseagrant.org/events-all/2022/3/4/storm-of-62

Follow Delaware Emergency Management Agency on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Contact: Jeff Sands, Delaware Emergency Management Agency, 302-659-2211.


Severe Weather Possible Wednesday into Thursday

Updated 8/31/2021 at 6:00pm

Smyrna, DE – The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) along with local, state, and federal partners, are closely monitoring the remnant low from Hurricane Ida.  We continue to coordinate with the counties and key state agencies to ensure readiness if the system worsens.  The main threats are anticipated to include rain, flooding, and severe thunderstorms.  A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for all of Delaware from Wednesday morning through Thursday afternoon.  Flooding is expected in creeks, streams, urban areas, and poor drainage areas.   There is an increased risk of severe weather for Delaware Wednesday evening and night including strong to severe thunderstorms causing downed trees and power lines, as well as increased potential for tornadoes.  Plan ahead now and be prepared.

  Event summary including potential threats of rain, flooding, severe thunderstorms, and tornadoes.Rainfall estimates from the storm ranging from 4 inches for New Castle County to 1 inch in Sussex County.Excessive Rainfall Outlook showing moderate risk (flash floods likely) and slight risk south of Dover. from Dover north, and Severe Weather Outlook showing most of Delaware in the Enhanced Risk category for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

 

 
 
 
How to Prepare:
  • Clear drains and gutters and check sump pumps
  • Never drive through flood water: Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
  • Be prepared to act if Tornado Warnings or other severe weather warnings are issued.

Make A Plan – preparede.org/make-a-plan

  • Make a plan for where you would go if you had to leave your home due to an evacuation or if it sustained damage.  Know how and where to shelter if a Tornado Warning is issued, go to Ready.gov/tornadoes for more.
  • Communicate and practice your plan with family.
  • Have a list of emergency contacts and copies of important documents.

Make An Emergency Kit – preparede.org/make-a-kit

  • Make sure that you have emergency supplies, such as food and water, for each member of your family (and pets) to last for at least 3 days.
  • Have flashlights in case of power outages and fully charged power banks to charge electronic devices.

Stay Informed

For more preparedness tips: PrepareDE.org
 
For weather updates from the National Weather Service: weather.gov/phi
 
For updates on the roads: https://deldot.gov/ and through their app https://deldot.gov/mobile/.
 
Follow Delaware Emergency Management Agency on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
 
Contact: Jeff Sands, Delaware Emergency Management Agency, 302-659-2211.


DEMA Encourages Preparations for Tropical Storm Elsa

 Smyrna, DE – The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) along with local, state, and federal partners, are closely monitoring Tropical Storm Elsa.  We continue to coordinate with the counties and key state agencies to ensure readiness if the system worsens.  A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued by the U.S. National Weather Service Philadelphia/Mount Holly for Sussex County with expansion of the Watch expected.  The updated track for Tropical Storm Elsa from NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center is slightly further west, which could mean a more significant impact for the state.  The main threats are anticipated to include rain, flooding, and increased rip currents beginning late Thursday.  But as we saw with Tropical Storm Isaias last summer, a variety of threats exist with Tropical Storms including tornadoes, high winds, flash flooding, etc.  Power outages are possible.  Plan ahead now and be prepared.

Prepare Your Home

  • Secure loose outdoor items such as grills, trash and recycling cans, and patio furniture.
  • Clear drains around your home to prevent flooding.
  • Trim back trees and bushes to prevent storm damage.
  • Have a plan for how to stay cool if the power goes out.
  • If you have a generator, make sure that you have fuel and test it in advance. Remember: never use a generator indoors!

Prepare Your Vehicle

  • Have a full tank of fuel
  • Ensure tire pressures are correct
  • Ensure that all lights are working.

Charge Electronic Devices

  • Keep phones, radios, and electronic devices fully charged in case of power outages.
  • Have portable power banks to charge electronic devices.

Make A Plan – preparede.org/make-a-plan

  • Make a plan for where you would go if you had to leave your home due to an evacuation or if it sustained damage.
  • Communicate and practice your plan with family.
  • Have a list of emergency contacts and copies of important documents.

Make An Emergency Kit – preparede.org/make-a-kit

  • Make sure that you have emergency supplies, such as food and water, for each member of your family (and pets) to last >3 days.
  • Have flashlights in case of power outages and fully charged power banks to charge electronic devices.

Stay Informed

Map showing the forecasted route of Tropical Storm Elsa which tracks through Delaware. Map showing the forecasted arrival of Tropical Storm force winds as early as Thursday evening.A map showing predicted rainfall of 1-2 inches or higher for Delaware.

For more preparedness tips: PrepareDE.org  

For weather updates from the National Weather Service: weather.gov/phi

For updates on the roads: https://deldot.gov/ and through their app https://deldot.gov/mobile/.

Follow Delaware Emergency Management Agency on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Contact: Jeff Sands, Delaware Emergency Management Agency, 302-659-2211.


Important Weather Information

School Closing / Delay Notification Information

School Closing Information System – Review a real-time listing of school closures from across the state of Delaware.

 

School Closing E-mail Registration Website – Subscribe to e-mail, text, and/or voice message notification of school closings and other school status.

 

School Closing Information by Phone – A voice activation system which provides school closing and other school status.
The toll free number is 877-831-7215.

 

 

State Employee Closure / Delay Information

Emergency and Adverse Weather Advisory – Read the latest information for state employees from the Human Resource Management Office.

 

State of Delaware BlackBoard Connect Closing/Delay Notification Registration – This service will allow you to sign up to receive information updates and advisories for Delaware State Government Employees.

 

State of Delaware BlackBoard Connect “How to Register Guide” – View instructions on how to sign up with BlackBoard Connect to receive advisories for Delaware State Government Employees.

 

 

Real Time Traffic Cameras and Road Reports

Live Traffic Cameras – Take a look at where the traffic is heading and have a bird’s eye view of the clear paths to get you where you need to go.

 

Online Subscription Service – Receive DelDOT press releases, scheduled travel restrictions, and real-time travel advisories via e-mail.

 

 

Snowplow Tracker from DelDOT

DelDOT’s Snowplow Tracker – available on the DelDOT mobile app or on their website.

 

 

Subscribe to Weather Related Press Releases

Subscribe on News.delaware.gov – sign up to receive emails when state agencies like DelDOT, DEMA, or the Governor’s office post press releases about weather announcements.

 

 

Weather Resources

 

 

Driving Warnings and Restrictions:

When the weather turns especially hazardous, Delaware has a three-level system of driving warnings and restrictions. Drivers should know the three levels and what they mean.

The levels are found in Title 20 of the Delaware Code, Subsection 3116(b)(12) and may be put in effect by the Governor during a State of Emergency for all or parts of Delaware based on conditions.

 

Level 1:

Driving Warning:  Drivers are discouraged from operating a motor vehicle on the state’s roadways, unless there is a significant safety, health, or business reason to do so. During a level 1 Driving Warning, all citizens are asked to drive with extreme caution.

Level 2:

Driving Restriction: Travel on the roads is restricted to emergency workers, public utilities, healthcare providers including hospital staff, public and private operators of snow removal equipment, private sector food and fuel deliveries. Industries, companies or organizations that have been provided a waiver, are also permitted to be on the road, including businesses with pressing continuity and operational issues.

Level 3:

Driving Ban: Complete ban on driving except for first responders, utility personnel, and public or private snow removal. Businesses and organizations should adjust work schedules so that employees do not need to be on the roads during a Level 3 Driving Ban.

Level 3 Bans are different from Level 2 Restrictions in that Level 2 allows people with waivers and essential personnel to remain on the road, whereas a Level 3 Bans are much stricter, only allowing emergency personnel.

 

 

Essential Personnel

Level 2 Driving Restriction: essential personnel include those who are necessary state personnel or those who provide healthcare services, food deliveries, and fuel deliveries during a state of emergency in both public and private industries.  

 

Level 3 Driving Ban: includes first responders, some state employees (i.e. policemen, utility workers), people the governor has approved through executive order and operator of snowplows or debris removal equipment that have been hired by the state or private interests.

 

For information on attaining driving waivers here is DEMA’s page on Online Waiver and Exemption Applications


Storm Report #2 Friday, October 2, 2015 (9:50pm)

(Smyrna) – Governor Jack Markell declared a Limited State of Emergency in Sussex County, Delaware, as of 12noon, Friday, October 2.  State offices remained open and no driving restrictions were implemented.  Drivers should remain aware of localized road closures caused by high winds and flooding.

In his Limited State of Emergency declaration, Governor Markell noted that state and local officials are taking the necessary steps to prepare for possible evacuations.

Assets of the Delaware National Guard were deployed to Kent and Sussex Counties in support of local efforts.  Residents of flood-prone areas were reminded by Governor Markell to prepare for possible evacuations, though none have been ordered at this time, and to continue monitoring local media and state and local agencies for updates.

The Delaware Emergency Operations Center remains activated with a reduced staff overnight; however additional staff are on standby and can be called in if needed.

A Coastal Flood Warning remains in effect until 6:00 PM, Sunday, October 4.

 

The National Weather Service says that widespread tidal flooding will occur through multiple successive high tide cycles through the weekend.  Tides over the weekend are likely to be near or at the Friday high tide levels.  A building surge into Saturday, combined with 6 to 10 foot breaking waves and periods of moderate or heavy rain will contribute to the tidal inundation flooding.

The next high tide will occur near midnight Friday night.  The Saturday high tide will occur in the early afternoon.  High tide on the back bays occurs later than the high tide on the oceanfront.

More roadway flooding is possible, especially during the daytime high tide cycle through the weekend.  Minor to moderate property damage is possible.  The tides and wave action will probably result in moderate beach erosion.

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) says its crews have been working during the past 24 hours to remove debris along roadways, clear storm drains and grates to reduce the potential for flooding, and have placed portable signs in areas where roads are flooded.

DelDOT reports these roads are closed due to flooding:

New Castle County:

Woodland Beach Rd. east of Rt.9

Nonesuch Creek at Airport Rd.

Old State Rd. at Old Corbitt Rd.

Pyles Lane at Pigeon Rd.

Rt. 9 at Fleming Landing Bridge

Rt. 9 between Paddock Rd. and Woodland Beach Rd.

 

Kent County

North Market Street in Frederica

South Bowers Beach Rd. at Webbs Cut-off

Rt. 9 between Paddock Rd. and Woodland Beach Rd.

Port Mahon Rd. at Rt. 9

Rt. 6 between Rt. 9 and Woodland Beach Rd.

 

Sussex County – Rt. 1 southbound is now OPEN between Fred Hudson (Rd.360) and Dewey Beach

Rt. 1 northbound is CLOSED between Fred Hudson (Rd.360) and Dewey Beach

Primehook Rd.

Rt. 16 eastbound from Rt. 1 to BRd.kill Beach

Front St. in Milton

River Rd. between Rd. 297 and Rd. 312A

Longneck Rd.

 

Many roads have water on the roadway, but are passable.  Motorists should use caution.

 

For information on current road closures and restrictions, log onto http://www.deldot.gov/information/travel_advisory/#trafficBox2

 

Motorists should remember that conditions may change quickly and other roadways could flood or contain water.  Use caution on all roadways and watch for standing water.

 

The speed limit on I-495 has been lowered to 55 MPH.

DART First State buses operated on normal schedules statewide Friday.  Riders should check the DART website for weekend operation notices.

No large areas of power outages have been reported.

Officials from NASCAR and Dover International Speedway cancelled Friday activities at the track.  NASCAR fans who are wondering about the status of the remainder of the weekend events should log onto http://www.doverspeedway.com/news_content/friday-oct-2-events-at-dover-international-speedway-postponed/.