State offices closed in Sussex, driving restriction being lifted

DOVER — State government offices in Sussex County are closed today, and the county remains in a state of emergency.

The driving restriction instructing non-essential personnel to stay off the roads was lifted at noon. Under the restriction, driving was limited to individuals such as snowplow operators, utility workers and health care providers.

“Snow and ice on roadways still pose risks, so Delawareans should exercise caution while driving,” Gov. John Carney said in a statement. “Thank you to everyone at the Delaware Department of Transportation, the Delaware National Guard, and all local and state authorities for their work responding to this storm. I also want to thank Delawareans across Sussex County for their patience as we worked to clear the roadways.”

A woman carries groceries on South Bradford Street in Dover on Thursday. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

State employees who live in Sussex but work elsewhere are off today. Offices in Kent and New Castle opened at 10 for non-essential employees.

Bayhealth closed most of its services in Sussex, although Milford Memorial Hospital is open. Employees who live in Sussex but work in Kent decided whether or not to come into work on a case-by-case basis, according to a Bayhealth spokeswoman.

The Veterans Affairs Community Based Outpatient Clinics in Kent and Sussex opened two hours late.

Delaware remains in a wind chill advisory, the National Weather Service warns. As of 10:30, it is 13 degrees in Dover, with a wind chill of -8.

The advisory is scheduled to end at noon Saturday.

The NWS warns the cold wind “will cause frostbite in as little as 30 minutes to exposed skin” and says wind gusts may hit 45 mph today.

The Department of Transportation cautions many subdivisions in Sussex will not be plowed until Saturday and urges drivers to be careful. The agency has brought in plows from northern Delaware to assist in Sussex.

Kent County received between 3 and 5 inches of snow, depending the area, while some parts of Sussex, such as Dagsboro and Lewes, got at least 10 inches.

The temperature is expected to rise Monday, with a comparably balmy high of 39 degrees.

 

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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