DEMA updates, Wednesday evening, Feb. 24


According to the National Weather Service, there is still “much uncertainty” associated with the forecast for winter weather Wednesday night through Thursday. Most forecast models indicate that Delaware could get four to six inches accumulation, but shifts in the storm track could drop more on the state, especially in northern areas. In preparation, Delaware Emergency Management Agency and other partnering agencies and groups are taking proactive measures. The State Emergency Operations Center will staff starting at 5:00 a.m. Thursday and continue through the duration of the storm.

The current forecast calls for rain throughout the night over Delmarva with rain/snow mix starting between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. By 7 a.m., it is expected to be all snow with the heaviest accumulation from Dover north. Predicted snow accumulations as of 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon were 8”-12” in New Castle County; 6”-12” in Kent County, and 4”-6” in Sussex County with all the higher amounts in the north sections of the counties. Atlantic coastal areas are expected to receive 1” or less.

The heaviest periods of snow are expected to be during the day Thursday, tapering off into occasional snow showers in the late afternoon and evening.

Spokesperson Rosanne Pack said DEMA and supporting agencies and organizations are closely monitoring the storm, even though the predictions have changed timing and some accumulation predictions. She said efforts to coordinate preparations and response are already underway. She encourages the public to stay aware of conditions in their areas and to heed recommendations regarding travel.

“Everyone in Delaware should consider themselves members of the preparedness and response team,” she said. “We don’t know what our snow levels will be with this system, but taking personal precautionary measures is key to your comfort and safety. Check your own emergency supplies of food, water and batteries. Have a plan for a destination for you and your pets if you lose power and have to evacuate. Even if you don’t use your supplies or your plan for this storm, you can be confident that you are prepared for other events.”

Strong winds are expected with this system, beginning Thursday morning and continuing late Thursday into Friday. Wind gusts up to 50 mph are possible along the coast, with 30 to 40 mph gusts possible inland Blowing and drifting snow can be expected, along with downed trees and

wires. These conditions should be considered for those who must travel. Also, unsecured outdoor furniture or ornaments should be protected and, if possible, limbs already damaged by snow weight should be removed.

The storm also has the potential to produce minor coastal flooding especially during high tides on Thursday Feb 25.