Storm Report #3 – Thursday Morning February 13

(Smyrna) – State offices in New Castle and Kent Counties are closed during regular business hours today by order of Governor Jack Markell.  A Limited State of Emergency and Level 1 Driving Warning were also issued by Governor Markell before 6 o’clock this morning.  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.”

A Winter Storm Warning continues in New Castle County until 6:00am Friday, February 14th.  Kent County also remains under a Winter Storm Warning, set to expire at 1:00pm today, February 13th.  A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect statewide until midnight tonight.  Areas of minor coastal flooding are expected with evening high tides. Areas of poor drainage will be affected and some roadway flooding may be experienced.  More precipitation is expected this afternoon and evening.

Snowfall totals vary across the state with most areas with accumulations over 10 inches so far in parts of New Castle County.  Amounts are lower downstate, with around 6 inches of snow reported in the Dover area. Inland Sussex County saw 1-2 inches, with mostly rain in the beach areas.

Delmarva Power and the Delaware Electric Cooperative are both reporting power outages and the numbers are changing quickly as crews are able to restore service to affected areas.  Information on school closings, can be found on the State of Delaware School Closings website (http://schoolclosings.delaware.gov/).


Storm Report #2 – Thursday Morning February 13 (5:30am)

(Smyrna) – Governor Jack Markell has ordered state offices closed in New Castle and Kent Counties today during regular business hours of 8am to 4:30pm.  Non-essential state employees who live or work in New Castle County or Kent County are not to report for work during this period.  Essential employees are to report as scheduled.  State of Delaware offices in Sussex County will open at 10:00am.  Non-essential state employees who live or work in Sussex County should not report to work until 10:00am, while essential employees report as scheduled.

Governor Markell has also placed a Level 1 Driving Warning into effect in New Castle and Kent Counties.  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 Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated at 10:00pm, Wednesday night.  DEMA officials were joined by representatives from other response agencies to monitor conditions overnight.

A Winter Storm Warning continues in New Castle County until 6:00am Friday, February 14th.  Kent County and the inland portion of Sussex County are also under a Winter Storm Warning, set to expire at 1:00pm today, February 13th.  The coastal areas of Sussex County are under a Winter Weather Advisory until 7:00am Thursday.  A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect statewide until midnight tonight.  Areas of minor coastal flooding are expected with the Thursday morning and evening high tides. Areas of poor drainage will be affected and some roadway flooding may be experienced.

Snowfall totals vary across the state with most areas of New Castle County waking up to 2.5 to nearly 4 inches of snow on the ground with more to come.  National Weather Service forecasters now say that snow could accumulate 6 to 10 inches in New Castle County along with a trace of ice.  The snow will mix with sleet upstate later this morning, then change to sleet and rain for a period in the afternoon before changing back to snow tonight and taper off by midnight.

Parts of Kent County have heavier accumulations this morning with reports of nearly 6 inches of snow already on the ground in Dover.  Total accumulations in Kent and inland Sussex Counties will be in the 4 to 6 inch range.  Snow will continue into the morning in many areas.  In the southern part of Delaware, rain and sleet early will change to all rain by dawn, while Kent County will see the rain/sleet mix later in the morning before changing to a wintry mix this evening.  Coastal areas will see mostly rain.

The morning rush hour will be impacted by the morning road and weather conditions. Motorists should allow extra time for their morning commute, reduce speeds, and use extreme caution while driving.  DelDOT crews are working on primary and secondary roads, bridges, toll roads, and known trouble spots.

Public school districts in New Castle and Kent Counties have already announced closings for Thursday.  Delaware Technical & Community College Stanton/Wilmington Campus and Terry Campus are closed for day classes.  Evening classes are also closed at the Stanton/Wilmington Campus.  Goldey-Beacom College has also announced that it will be closed on Thursday.  Information on school closings can also be found on the State of Delaware School Closings website (http://schoolclosings.delaware.gov/).

The snow will be wet and heavy.  Winds may gust 20-35 MPH, with higher gusts up to 50 MPH along the coast.  The heavy snow accumulating on tree branches and power lines, combined with strong, gusty winds may combine to produce broken branches and downed power lines.


Storm Report #4 – Wednesday Midday January 22 (11:30am)

(Smyrna) – The State of Emergency in Delaware was lifted by Governor Jack Markell at 10am this morning, along with the Level 1 Driving Warning.  All state offices are closed today, during the regular business hours of 8am to 4:30pm.  Non-essential state employees are not to report for work during this period, while essential employees should report as scheduled.  Government offices in all three counties as well as the cities of Wilmington, Newark, Dover and others across the state also closed today.

Winds will be 15-20 MPH today with gusts up to 30 MPH.  Bitterly cold air will through the remainder of the week and temperatures are not expected to rise above freezing until Saturday.  The cold and wind are combining to create dangerous wind chills.

Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) reports that salt is ineffective on roads when temperatures are in the single digits, and crews are working against winds that blow snow back onto cleared roads.  Major roads in New Castle and Kent Counties are covered with ice and slush, and the speed limit on I495 and the Roth Bridge (SR 1) is reduced to 45 MPH.  The snow ended later in Sussex County this morning where roads are wet with light snow and minimal accumulation.   Travel will remain hazardous due to snow covered roadways and drifting, and those conditions will continue throughout the day Wednesday.  The commute on Wednesday afternoon will be impacted by blowing and drifting snow, especially in open areas.

There were a total of 1,721 power outages across the state, with most occurring this morning when 1686 Delaware Electric Cooperative customers in Sussex County lost electricity.  As of 11am, fewer than 500 customers of Delmarva Power and Delaware Electric Cooperative are without power.

All school districts in Delaware are closed today.  Wednesday, January 22nd.  Some colleges and universities have posted their status on school websites, with Wilmington University and Goldey-Beacom and Wesley Colleges closed.  Delaware Technical and Community College Stanton, Wilmington, Terry and Owens campuses are closed.  The University of Delaware will be opening at noon.


Governor Markell Announces Lifting of State of Emergency

Wilmington, DE – Governor Jack Markell announced that he has lifted the State of Emergency Level One Driving Warning effective at 10:00 a.m. this morning.  Road conditions have improved since this morning, but some roads still have snow and ice on them.  Drivers should exercise caution, particularly on back roads or areas that become icy.  Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing for several days.  DelDOT continues to work on plowing and salting roads, although salt is of limited effectiveness at low temperatures.

“If you have to go out on the roads today, please drive slowly and carefully,” said Governor Markell.  “Hundreds of DelDOT employees have worked through the night and morning to improve road conditions, but snowy and icy spots still exist and drivers should exercise caution.”

 ###


Driving Warning Remains in Effect

State of Delaware Offices Closed

(Wilmington) –  State of Delaware offices will be closed today, as we continue to recover from the winter storm that ended this morning. The level one driving warning will remain in effect at this time. We are continually monitoring the road conditions in order to lift the State of Emergency as soon as it is safe to do so.

Hundreds of employees with over 300 pieces of equipment have been working steadily to clear roadways enough for safe passage. Despite pre-treating road surfaces and overnight plowing and salting, the windy conditions and low temperatures have necessitated multiple treatments to keep primary arteries passable. With snow ending earlier this morning, crews have begun work on the secondary roads.

“If you do not need to be out on the roads this morning, please don’t drive,” said Governor Markell. “This gives DelDOT the space it needs to get its work done and will help keep you safe.”

###