Storm Report #1 – Sunday Evening March 2 (9:45pm)

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(Smyrna) – Delaware is preparing for another winter storm, with snow that will arrive late Sunday night in many portions of the state, and continue through Monday afternoon. Governor Jack Markell has issued a State of Emergency and a Level 1 Driving Warning, both of which go into effect at midnight Sunday night. According to state law, a “Level 1 Driving Warning” means 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.

Sunday afternoon, Governor Markell issued an Executive Order authorizing the Delaware National Guard, as directed by the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) to take precautionary or responsive actions upon request by local authorities. DEMA activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as of 8:00pm, Sunday, March 2nd. The EOC activation brings multiple response agencies together with DEMA serving as the coordinating lead agency. DEMA is working along with other emergency response agencies across the state to monitor conditions caused by the winter storm and take appropriate action. State of Delaware offices will be closed Monday, March 3, 2014, during regular business hours 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Non-essential employees are not to report to work for this period. Essential employees are to report as scheduled.

A Winter Storm Warning has been posted in New Castle County and Kent County by the National Weather Service (NWS), which is in effect until 4:00pm Monday, March 3rd. Sussex County is also under a Winter Storm Warning, from 1:00am until 6:00pm Monday, March 3rd.

New Castle County and Kent Counties can expect to see 6-10 inches from the storm. Sussex County is forecast at 6-8 inches of snow with up to one-tenth of an inch of ice. Snow and sleet will have major impacts on driving conditions and motorists are advised to stay at home if possible. The morning rush hour will be impacted by the road and weather conditions. Motorists should extra time for their morning commute, reduce speeds, and use extreme caution while driving. DelDOT crews are working on primary roads, bridges, toll roads, and known trouble spots.

All public schools in Delaware will be closed on Monday, March 3rd. Information on school closings can also be found on the State of Delaware School Closings website (http://schoolclosings.delaware.gov/). Wilmington University (all campuses), Wesley College, and Delaware Technical and Community College (all campuses) will be closed on Monday.

Near-record cold weather will follow the storm on Monday, as temperatures in some portions of the state could be in the single digits Monday night and overnight until Tuesday.