Governor Carney Closes State Offices in New Castle County

Level 1 Driving Warning remains in effect

WILMINGTON, Del. – With the winter storm continuing to impact Delaware, State of Delaware offices in New Castle County will be closed during regular business hours — 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Non-essential employees who live or work in New Castle County are not to report to work during this period. Essential employees are to report as scheduled.

Governor Carney’s Level 1 Driving Warning remains in effect in New Castle County. Under a 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.

The Governor urges media and residents to monitor social media for continuous updates:
https://twitter.com/JohnCarneyDE
https://www.facebook.com/JohnCarneyDE
https://twitter.com/DelawareDOT
https://www.facebook.com/delawaredot/
https://twitter.com/DelawareEMA

Read the latest update on roadway conditions from DelDOT:

Delaware Department of Transportation crews have been working steadily to prepare the state’s roadways for removal of snow and ice. Snow began to fall overnight, and storm activity is expected to last until the late afternoon hours in New Castle County.
DelDOT’s maintenance forces will continue snow removal operations throughout the day. Motorists should continue to exercise extreme caution when driving today, and be on the watch for hazards such as icy patches and snow covered roadways. With the high wind gusts, motorists should be alert and careful for fallen tree limbs/power lines and debris on the roads.
Every effort will be made to keep the state’s roadways open and operating, the public may expect disruption and delays as the storm progresses.

Once primary roads are passable, DelDOT’s crews will move to the secondary roads. Crews may be forced to return to the primary roads even after operations have started on secondary roads, due to the changing of weather conditions.

DelDOT wants to stress the importance of staying off the roads, if possible, during major storms and slow down when you drive. There is a potential for snow squalls to develop, which could lead to hazardous driving conditions.

DelDOT Transportation Management Center (TMC)
DelDOT’s Transportation Management Center (TMC) and WTMC-1380 AM provides motorists real-time traffic conditions throughout the state.  Motorists can contact the TMC 24/7 to report any travel or traffic related issues at the following numbers:  Dial #77 from any cell phone; (302) 659-4600; or 1-800-324-8379.

DelDOT App
The DelDOT App is available for Apple & Android smart phones and tablets, and can be downloaded free, search for “DelDOT” at the Apple and Google Play stores. With the DelDOT App you can view real time traffic cameras, travel times, delays, advisories, DART’s Real-Time Transit Information, and also listen to WTMC 1380 AM.

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Governor Carney Announces Level 1 Driving Warning for Winter Storm in New Castle County

Driving warning begins at midnight, urges extra caution on roadways

WILMINGTON, Del. – With an impending winter storm expected to impact Delaware, Governor John Carney on Monday evening issued a Level 1 Driving Warning for New Castle County effective Tuesday, March 14 at 12:00 a.m., and authorized the Delaware National Guard to assist state and local officials with any necessary response and recovery for this severe winter storm effective Monday, March 13, 2017 at 9:00 p.m.

A Level One Driving Warning means that any person operating a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways must exercise extra caution. Driving is not banned, but nonessential employees (both public and private) are encouraged not to operate a motor vehicle unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so.

Updated information from the National Weather Service indicates the following for Delaware:

New Castle County

  • A Winter Storm Warning is in effect from Monday, March 13 at 8:00 p.m. until Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 6:00 p.m..
  • Expect heavy snow and sleet, with snow accumulation 6-10 inches.
  • Snow is expected to start between 8:00 p.m. and 10 p.m. this evening, heavy at times after midnight. Snow will mix with sleet between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., then change back to snow in Tuesday morning.
  • A Coastal Flood Advisory in effect Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Kent County

  • A Winter Storm Advisory is in effect from Monday, March 13, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. until Tuesday, March 14 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Expect snow and sleet, with snow accumulation 2-4 inches.
  • Snow is expected to start Monday evening between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., change to or mix with sleet and rain Tuesday morning, then back to snow.
  • A Coastal Flood Advisory in effect Tuesday from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Sussex County

  • A Coastal Flood Watch in effect Tuesday, March 14, 2017 from 7:00 AM until 3:00 p.m.
  • A High Wind Warning will be in effect Tuesday from 2:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

The Delaware Division of Public Health reminds residents to protect themselves and animals ahead of the winter storm.

The Governor urges media and residents to check social media for continuous updates:
https://twitter.com/JohnCarneyDE
https://www.facebook.com/JohnCarneyDE
https://twitter.com/DelawareDOT
https://twitter.com/DelawareEMA

 

 

Click here for a PDF of the Declaration of a Limited State of Emergency and Level 1 Driving Warning for New Castle County due to a Severe Winter Storm.


Protect Yourself and Your Animals During Cold Weather

DOVER – The Delaware Division of Public Health is reminding residents to prepare both themselves and their animals as a nor’easter bears down on our area bringing snow, high winds and the potential for flooding in some portions of the state.

Hypothermia can occur in cold weather or if a person becomes chilled by rain. Infants and the elderly are particularly at risk, but anyone can be affected. Cold weather can put extra strain on the heart, so individuals with heart disease or high blood pressure should follow their doctors’ advice about exerting themselves in the cold.

Frostbite is an injury to the body that is caused by freezing. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation. The risk of frostbite increases for people with reduced blood circulation and among those who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.

Recognize the symptoms of frostbite:

At the first signs of redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin – frostbite may be beginning. Any of the following signs may indicate frostbite:

  • a white or grayish-yellow skin area
  • skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
  • numbness

A victim is often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen tissues are numb. If you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care.

Prevent problems before they occur:

  • When heading out in cold weather, remember the following:
    • Water-resistant or waterproof outerwear is advisable to reduce the risk of hypothermia (abnormally low body temperature). Dress in layers of loose-fitting clothes, including extra socks, which can be removed as they become damp. Wear warm, comfortable shoes.
    • When exerting yourself, it is important to remain hydrated by drinking water and other non-caffeinated beverages.
    • Wear hats, water-resistant coats, scarves or knit masks to cover the face and mouth, and gloves or mittens. Mittens are warmer than gloves.
    • Wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers of clothing will hold more body heat than cotton. Perspiration can increase heat loss, and wet clothing can chill the body rapidly.
    • Avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, which can cause the body to lose heat more rapidly.

For more information on cold weather preparation, visit: emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/.

Protect your pet during cold weather:

  • Bring pets indoors. This is the safest place for your pet during cold temperatures. Short-haired pets or very young or old pets should never be left outdoors in cold temperatures and all pet dogs and cats should be brought indoors when the temperature falls below freezing.
  • Protect outdoor pets from the elements. If your pet must be outdoors, you must provide a dry, draft-free shelter from the elements that contains moisture-resistant bedding such as straw or cedar shavings, which will help pets retain body heat. Housing should be appropriately sized for the animal and designed for animal sheltering. Pet owners should also provide a water-proof flap over the doorway to protect from wind and rain.
  • Ensure access to water at all times. Frequently check water bowls to ensure water is not frozen. If you typically use a metal watering bowl, replace it with plastic as a pet’s tongue can get stuck to metal in cold temperatures.
  • Additional food may be needed. Animals burn more calories in cold temperatures in order to stay warm, so you may need to increase the amount of food you provide. Check with your veterinarian about your pet’s nutritional needs in cold weather.
  • Outdoor cats need attention, too. Whether outdoor cats are owned, stray, or feral, they need the same protection from cold weather as your pets. If there are outdoor cats in your neighborhood, provide them with dry, warm shelter, as well as food and water to help them survive dangerously low temperatures. For your own safety, do not handle any unfamiliar animals, particularly if the rabies vaccination status is unknown. An animal may have rabies and not exhibit any external signs.

If you see a pet that has been left outdoors in cold temperatures without proper shelter or protection from the elements, food, or water, report it immediately to the Delaware Animal Services Hotline at 302-255-4646.

Under Senate Bill 217, dogs cannot be left outdoors during hazardous weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service. The Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for New Castle County from 8 p.m. tonight until 6 p.m. Tuesday, a Coastal Flood Warning for Kent County from 8 p.m. tonight until 4 p.m. Tuesday, and a High Wind Warning for Sussex County between 2 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Tuesday. The Division of Public Health urges people to closely monitor weather updates.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


DelDOT Status Report for Thursday Morning

Governor Carney shares DelDOT’s winter travel information for February 9, 2017

Dover, Del. – Governor John Carney urges all Delawareans to travel with caution and to read important information from DelDOT regarding today’s winter weather event:

As rain is just now beginning to change to snow in parts of New Castle County, officials from the Delaware Department of Transportation are cautioning motorists to give themselves extra travel time this morning, as some roads could be slick with snow or ice.

Because this event is starting as rain, then forecast to transition to snow, pre-treating the roads with salt would not have been effective, so motorists should be extra vigilant, looking for slick areas on roads.

DelDOT crews are pre-staged at points along major routes, ready to begin applying salt the moment when the rain transitions to snow.

During this event, DelDOT officials urge all motorists to give snow plows a great deal of space for safety reasons. If a plow is applying salt or plowing, cars should not pass the plow, and should stay behind the plow at least five car lengths. 

DelDOT recommends the following winter driving tips:

Plan ahead by listening to weather reports and WTMC 1380 AM.

Bridges and overpasses typically freeze sooner than approach roads. Slow down before traveling over an elevated roadway and keep steady momentum without braking will help you keep control of your vehicle. 

Snowplows don’t always travel at consistent speeds. They may need to slow down or speed up to remove snow and ice that has been packed down by traffic. For your safety, it is recommended that you stay a safe distance behind the snowplows.

Be careful when approaching intersections; other drivers may have difficulty stopping or turning on snow-packed or icy intersections.

Motorists may contact the Transportation Management Center (TMC) 24/7 to report any travel or traffic related issues at the following numbers: Dial #77 from any cell phone; (302) 659-4600; or 1-800-324-8379.

The DelDOT App is available for Apple & Android smart phones and tablets, and can be downloaded free, search for “DelDOT” at the Apple and Google Play stores. With the DelDOT App you can view real time traffic cameras, information about DART schedules, travel times, delays, advisories, and also listen to WTMC 1380 AM.


Governor Markell Issues State of Emergency Announces Level 1 Driving Warning to Begin at Midnight

Wilmington, DE – With a severe winter storm expected to generate significant snowfall in New Castle and Kent Counties, as well as coastal flooding and strong sustained winds in Sussex County, Governor Jack Markell has issued a State of Emergency effective Friday, January 22 at 5:00 p.m., and a “Level 1 Driving Warning” effective Saturday, January 23 at 12:00 a.m. [See text below].

At the Governor’s request, Delaware National Guard and DelDOT began pre-positioning their resources yesterday in anticipation of this weekend’s storm.  The State of Emergency declaration allows the Governor to deploy the Delaware National Guard, DelDOT, first responders, and other agencies to open or close roadways and take other actions to protect public safety and property during the storm event.

According to state law, a “Level 1 Driving Warning” means that any person operating a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways must exercise extra caution. All nonessential employees, public and private, are encouraged not to operate a motor vehicle unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so.

If the predicted forecast comes to fruition, the “Level 1 Driving Warning” is likely to be upgraded to a “Level 2 Driving Restriction” as roadway condition deteriorate Saturday. The Governor continues to monitor the forecast regularly and will remain in frequent contact with emergency management and transportation officials over the course of the storm.

According to state law, under a “Level 2 Driving Restriction,” no person may operate a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways, except for persons designated as “essential personnel” or who have received a waiver from the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. The following persons are specifically designated as “essential personnel” under Delaware law:
•Operators of snow removal equipment (public and private);
•Persons providing public utility services;
•Persons providing healthcare services; and
•Persons providing food and fuel deliveries.

The National Weather Service has declared a Blizzard Warning for New Castle County and Kent and Sussex Counties are under a Winter Storm Watch. Residents are encouraged to avoid travelling area roads Friday night and Saturday, and Delaware residents in flood-prone areas in Kent and Sussex should seriously consider relocating during this time.

“With authorities predicting snowfall amounts of 12-18 inches, it is important that all Delawareans take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones”, said Governor Markell.  “Conditions are predicted to rapidly deteriorate during the overnight hours and through tomorrow, which will create hazardous driving conditions and the threat of flooding in low-lying coastal areas.  That’s why I’m urging Delawareans to find a safe place to be this weekend and to arrive there this evening, and why I’m asked all non-essential personnel to avoid travelling our roadways after the snow begins so that DelDOT and emergency crews can clear the roads and keep our citizens safe.”

Because of the amount of snow expected and duration of the snowfall, many roads will be snow-covered and could be impassable throughout the day tomorrow.  DelDOT has been working hard to prepare the roads for snow and to prepare its crews for a weekend of plowing.

DelDOT crews started applying brine solution to Delaware roadways on Wednesday, and have since completed those operations. All equipment used in snow removal operations have been checked and rechecked from the snow plows to the windshield wipers.  Plow trucks are being loaded with salt, and all normal snow removal preparations are underway.

DelDOT has Equipment Operators for 330 snow plows currently at work and on standby ready to act as the snowfall requires this evening and Saturday.

Yesterday, the Governor authorized the National Guard, in coordination with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, to pre-position its forces to assist local first responders with stranded motorists, flooding, and other emergencies that may require their attention. They will remain in position to assist Delawareans throughout the weekend.

Code Purple locations will open today in all three counties for individuals who are homeless and in need of shelter during the storm. More information, including a list of sites statewide, is available here. To be connected to Code Purple resources, call Delaware 2-1-1, search for “Code Purple” on the Delaware 2-1-1 mobile app or on its website at www.delaware211.org and click on the Code Purple button.

Winter Storm precautions released by the Department of Agriculture can be found here.

The Governor urges media and residents to check social media for continuous updates:
https://twitter.com/GovernorMarkell
https://twitter.com/DelawareDOT
https://twitter.com/DelawareEMA

Executive Department
Dover

DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR NEW CASTLE, KENT AND SUSSEX COUNTIES EFFECTIVE AT 5:00 P.M. ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2016

AND A LEVEL I DRIVING WARNING FOR NEW CASTLE, KENT AND SUSSEX COUNTIES EFFECTIVE AT 12:00 A.M. ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 23, 2016

DUE TO EXPECTED BLIZZARD CONDITIONS AND COASTAL FLOODING

WHEREAS, a significant winter storm is imminently forthcoming in the State of Delaware, and the National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for New Castle County and Kent County, Delaware, and a Winter Storm Warning for Sussex County, Delaware, beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 22, 2016, and ending at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, January 24, 2016; and
WHEREAS, the National Weather Service forecast for New Castle County and Kent County includes predictions of whiteout conditions, including snow accumulation of 12 to 24 inches in New Castle and Kent Counties, and snow accumulation of 4-8 inches in Sussex County, resulting in potentially hazardous road and travel conditions in all three counties; and
WHEREAS, the National Weather Service estimates that the strongest winds and greatest potential for blizzard conditions will occur during the day on Saturday, January 23, 2016, but urges extreme caution in road travel during the evening hours of Friday, January 22, 2016; and
WHEREAS, the National Weather Service has also issued a Coastal Flood Advisory for New Castle County, Delaware, beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2016, and ending at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 24, 2016, potentially resulting in some tidal flooding and road closures; and
WHEREAS, the National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Warning for Kent County, Delaware and Sussex County, Delaware, beginning at 4:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2016, and ending at 12:00 noon on Sunday, January 24, 2016, and has predicted tidal flooding, resulting in road closures and many roads potentially being impassable on either side of Saturday morning’s high tide; and
WHEREAS, on January 22, 2016, I authorized the Delaware National Guard to assist state and local officials in all three counties with any necessary response and recovery activity for this severe winter storm; and
WHEREAS, the forthcoming winter storm is expected to create hazardous road conditions in all three counties that present an imminent danger to persons traveling on Delaware roads, as well potential danger to life, safety and property in all three counties;
NOW THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, pursuant to Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, do hereby declare a State of Emergency for the entire State of Delaware.  This State of Emergency will be effective in all three counties on January 22, 2016, at 5:00 p.m., and shall continue until terminated as provided under state law.  The nature of the emergency includes projected blizzard conditions and possible road flooding in Northern Delaware, including New Castle and Northern Kent County, and high winds and coastal flooding in Sussex County, resulting potentially in hazardous road conditions throughout the State.  Along with such other actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, I specifically direct and authorize:
1. All departments and agencies of the State of Delaware shall assist in response and recovery activities, as directed by and in coordination with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), in consultation with the Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS), necessary in those areas affected by the storm.

2. As of January 23, 2016 at midnight (12:00 a.m.), and until further notice, a Level 1 Driving Warning is in effect.  Any person operating a motor vehicle shall exercise extra caution in the operation of that vehicle for the duration of the emergency. Nonessential employees, regardless of whether employed by a public or private entity, are encouraged not to operate a motor vehicle for the duration of the emergency, unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so.  State and local officials are directed to remove abandoned vehicles from roads in affected areas at the expense of the vehicle owner.

3. In addition to the Level 1 Driving Warning, this Order constitutes notice to Delaware residents and businesses in all three counties that additional driving precautions or restrictions may be forthcoming in the morning of Saturday, January 23, 2016.

4. The Delaware National Guard shall take precautionary or responsive actions directed by the Director of DEMA, in consultation with the Secretary of DSHS, upon request by local authorities.

5. I authorize the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and the Delaware State Police, in consultation with DEMA and the Secretary of DSHS, to order such bridge and road closures as necessary to protect the health and safety of the public.

6. I reserve the right to take or direct state or local authorities to take, without issuance of further written order, any other necessary actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code to respond to this emergency.

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