DNREC, City of Lewes to erect fencing at Lewes Beach primary dune beginning first week of November

DOVER – DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section and the City of Lewes will begin erecting fencing along the bay side of the primary dune at Lewes Beach during the first week of November. The fencing is designed to help protect the dune’s fragile habitat, and act as a deterrent to area residents leaving personal effects and items on the dune that can damage it. The dune-fencing project is expected to take two weeks for completion, depending on weather conditions.

In August, the Shoreline & Waterway Management Section within DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship distributed flyers by mail to area residents asking them to remove any items, such as bikes, boats, kayaks and other water sports equipment from the dune before the fencing project began. Any such personal property remaining on the dune at the start of the project will be removed by DNREC staff.

Earlier this summer, DNREC also placed signage at Lewes Beach reminding beachgoers to stay out of the dune. Lewes Beach residents and visitors were advised to use only existing pathways through the dune when crossing it.

The Shoreline & Waterway Management Section notes that for a dune to best provide protection for coastal communities, a continuous dune line must be maintained. Structures and recreational equipment illegally placed in the dune area, along with heavy use of dunes by pedestrians for access to the beach, can destroy vegetation, and lower the elevation of the dune, thereby reducing the dune’s protection capabilities.

Illegally-stored items also smother and kill the beach grass that supports and helps sustain the dune. Without beach grass, windblown sand is not trapped in the dune, creating weak spots that can be breached by flood waters during coastal storms.

For more information on dune protection, please contact DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section at 302-739-9921 or the City of Lewes at 302-645-7777.


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.

###


Governor Markell Urges Delawareans to Prepare for Impending Weather

Dover, DE — Delaware is facing a serious winter storm with the potential for blizzard conditions upstate and potential flooding, rain and heavy winds downstate. The National Weather Service has declared a Blizzard Watch for New Castle and Kent Counties, and Sussex County is under a Winter Storm Watch. The Governor urges Delawareans to begin factoring the storm into their preparations for the weekend, including changing travel plans to avoid traveling on area roads Friday night and Saturday. Delawareans who reside in flood-prone areas in Kent and Sussex Counties should consider relocating for the weekend.

“This looks like a serious storm and I hope Delawareans are treating it that way,” said Governor Markell.  “I encourage Delawareans to take precautions and stay tuned to weather forecasts and transportation updates as we go through the weekend. Tomorrow morning would be a good time to visit a Delaware library and prepare to hole up for the weekend with a good book.”

DelDOT has worked hard to prepare the roads for snow and to prepare its fleet for a weekend of plowing. If the snow falls as predicted, many roads will be snow-covered and may be impassable. For that reason, it is likely that a state of emergency and driving restrictions could become necessary this weekend. The Governor is monitoring the forecast regularly and is in regular touch with emergency management and transportation officials.

The Governor has 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 evacuations, or any other emergency that requires their attention.

###


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/.


Delaware Officials Continue to Monitor Storm-Limited State of Emergency in Sussex County

Governor Jack Markell has declared a Limited State of Emergency in Sussex County, Delaware, effective immediately.  State offices will remain open and no driving restrictions have been implemented.  Drivers should be aware of localized road closures caused by high winds 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 and road closures, though none have been ordered at this time.

Assets of the Delaware National Guard have been deployed to Kent and Sussex Counties to act in support of local efforts.  Governor Markell also reminded residents of flood-prone areas to prepare for possible evacuation and to continue to monitor local media and messages from state and local agencies for updates.

The Delaware Emergency Operations Center is activated with a reduced staff, today, Friday, October 26, 2015; however additional staff are on standby and can be called in if needed.  A Coastal Flood Warning will be in effect from 11:00 PM this evening to 7:00 AM Tuesday (October 6).

The National Weather Service says a high impact weather pattern is affecting our region today into Saturday.  The main threats are major coastal flooding with heavy surf and beach erosion, as well as very strong winds along Atlantic coastal areas.

Moderate to major coastal flooding is expected today and tomorrow along the Atlantic coast, as well as along the lower Delaware Bay.  In addition, moderate coastal flooding is expected on the upper Delaware Bay.  Problems caused by coastal flooding are likely to continue into Sunday, but the threat of coastal flooding from Hurricane Joaquin has been greatly reduced by new forecast tracks that show the storm will move further out to sea.

High winds are accompanying our current storm, and winds along the coast tomorrow could gust up to 40-50 MPH.  This will impact coastal areas, and moderate flooding is anticipated around the time of tonight’s high tide.

The strong northeast winds are expected to continue into at least Saturday, with wind gusts of 25 to 40 mph likely over inland locations, and wind gusts of 45+ mph possible in coastal areas.  Additional rainfall of only one half inch to 2 inches is expected.

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:

Sussex County

Primehook Road closed in Milton

River Road closed in Oak Orchard

Front Street closed in Milford

Nanticoke Road – Water on roadway

Turn Point Road – Water on roadway

Inlet Road – Water on roadway

Mercer Avenue in Oak Orchard – Water on roadway

Kent County

Old Cemetery Road near Route 1 -Water on roadway

Old Cemetery Road and Tubmill Pond Road – Water on roadway

Tubmill Pond Road – Water on roadway.

Market Street in Frederica – Water on roadway

Skeeter Neck Road – Water on roadway

Williamsville Road between Holly Hill Road and Blairs Pond Road – Water on roadway

Prospect Church Road, south of Route 14 – Water on roadway

Deep Grass Lane between Thistlewood Road and Williamsville Road – Water on roadway

Hills Market Road between Route 13 and Sugar Stick Road – Water on roadway

Andrewsville Road between Gallo Road and Prospect Church Road – Water on roadway

Allabands Mill Road between Todds Mill Road and Camden-Wyoming Avenue – Water on

roadway

Killens Pond Road, just north of Bloomfield Road – Water on roadway

South Bowers Beach Road at Webbs Cut-off – Water on roadway

Todds Chapel Road between Hickman Road and Fishers Bridge Road – Water on roadway

Hazlettville Road between Wyoming Mill Road and Artis Drive – Water on roadway

Big Stone Beach Road between New Wharf Road and Greenhouse Road – Water on roadway

New Wharf Road between Big Stone Road and Route 1 – Water on roadway

Deep Grass Lane between Williamsville Road and Rod Club Road – Water on roadway

Barkers Landing Road, just east of South State Street – Water on roadway

Cypress Branch Road, just north of Ponderosa Drive – Water on roadway

John Hurd Road between Spectrum Farms Road and Meredith Road – Water on roadway

 

DelDOT is also monitoring conditions along coastal highways such as Route 1 between Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach, and the Charles W. Cullen Bridge over the Indian River Inlet, and may close portions if necessary.

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

DART First State buses are on normal schedules statewide.

No large areas of power outages have been reported.

Officials from NASCAR and Dover International Speedway say that Friday activities at the track have been cancelled.  A number of high school football, field hockey, and soccer games have been postponed.  Fans should contact individual schools to determine the status of their games.

For information on school closures, log on to http://schoolclosings.delaware.gov/.