Delaware governor issues driving restrictions

DOVER — Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has issued a “Level 2 Driving Restriction” in New Castle and Kent Counties, effective at 8 a.m. today.

A State of Emergency remains in effect statewide, along with a “Level 1 Driving Warning” in Sussex County.

As expected, the winter storm that began Friday has generated significant snowfall in New Castle and Kent Counties, as well as snow, coastal flooding, and strong sustained winds in Sussex County.

As of 7 a.m., about 8-10 inches have been reported in parts of New Castle and Kentcounties, and 2-4 inches in most of Sussex, increasing to about 7 inches in Laurel.

On roadways throughout the state, there is as much as 6-9 inches of snow.

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.

“This storm appears to be as serious as predicted and, with so much snow accumulating on our roads, conditions are becoming dangerous for any more traffic than absolutely necessary,” said Gov. Markell in a prepared statement.

At the Governor’s direction, Delaware National Guard and DelDOT began pre-positioning their resources Friday afternoon in anticipation of this weekend’s storm.  The State of Emergency declaration allowed the Governor to deploy the Delaware National Guard, DelDOT, first responders, and other agencies to open and close roadways, and take other actions to protect public safety and property during the storm event.

A blizzard warning from the National Weather Service is now in effect for New Castle and Kent counties until 6 a.m. Sunday.

From 8 p.m. Friday night through 8 a.m. Saturday, Delaware State Police have responded to 78 property damage accidents, 7 personal injury accidents, and 149 disabled vehicles statewide, according to a news release issued Saturday morning.

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