Governor issues limited state of emergency


DOVER — Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has issued a State of Emergency effective Friday, January 22, at 5 p.m., and a “Level 1 Driving Warning” effective Saturday, January 23, at midnight.

The State of Emergency declaration, issued in advance of heavy snow projected for Kent and New Castle counties and high wind and flooding in Sussex County, 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,” Gov. Markell’s office wrote in a prepared statement.

The “Level 1 Driving Warning” may be upgraded to a “Level 2 Driving Restriction” as roadway conditions deteriorate Saturday.

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.

“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 Gov. Markell  said in a prepared statement.  “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.”


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