The governor has instituted a state of emergency and driving restrictions in the state's southernmost county
With roadway conditions continuing to deteriorate, Gov. John Carney on Thursday issued a state of emergency declaration for Sussex County and Level 2 driving restriction. The SOE for Sussex County took effect at 2 p.m., and the driving restriction at 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4. Carney also authorized the Delaware National Guard to assist state and local officials with any necessary response and recovery for this severe winter storm.
A Level 1 Driving Warning had been in effect across Sussex County since 7:30 a.m.
The Level 2 restriction means no person may operate a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways, except for persons designated as “essential personnel.”
“This is a serious storm, and Delawareans across Sussex County should stay off the roadways as conditions continue to worsen,” Carney said in a statement. “That will help personnel from the Delaware Department of Transportation more effectively clear the roadways, and help us provide services to our neighbors most in need.”
Under Delaware law, the term “essential personnel” means employees or personnel who are necessary (1) to maintain the core functions of government, and (2) to maintain the health and safety of the people of Delaware.
The following 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.
In addition to the above, employers who fall outside the above categories may apply for a waiver from the Level 2 restriction from the Delaware Emergency Management Agency.
Waivers will be granted when a significant safety, health or business necessity is shown.
Waivers must be obtained in advance of emergency incidents. No waiver application will be granted within 21 days after receipt of the application for waiver, and applications will not be processed for approval during an emergency period. Employers already granted a waiver by DEMA may also continue to travel if necessary.
Updated information from the National Weather Service indicates the following for Delaware:
New Castle CountyA winter storm warning remains in effect until 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4. Expect occasionally heavy snow and blowing snow through mid afternoon, with snow accumulations of four to seven inches Strong winds may cause power outages.
Kent CountyA winter storm warning remains in effect until 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4. Expect occasionally moderate snow and blowing snow through early this afternoon, with snow accumulations of four to seven inches. Tree branches could fall. Strong winds may cause power outages. A coastal flood advisory expired at 2 p.m.
Sussex CountyA blizzard warning remains in effect until 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 4. Expect occasional blizzard conditions snow and blowing snow through mid or late afternoon, with snow accumulations of 8 to 12 inches. Tree branches could fall. Strong winds may cause power outages. A coastal flood advisory expired at 2 p.m.