FIRST MAJOR SNOWSTORM SLAMS ALL OF DELAWARE WITH UP TO 10 INCHES IN SOME PARTS OF SOUTHERN SUSSEX COUNTY!
If you were planning on driving Saturday, by now you know you’re not going anywhere. It was 5 A.M. when the snow started to come down on New Castle County, with winds of up to 35 MPH in some areas. The high winds caused very low visibility for motorists all across the state. In addition, the snowbanks were growing at an astounding rate, causing vehicles to lose control and spin out all day long.
By mid-day, it was expected that Delawareans, especially in Sussex County, would not be able to start digging out until Sunday evening. Snowplows began plowing the roads at 2 A.M. Saturday, putting most of their limited resources on primary roads leaving a lot of the major roads un-plowed throughout the night.
A reminder from from @DelawareDOT: IF you must travel today, please stay BEHIND the plows. Let road crews do their jobs to keep us all safe.
— Sussex County EMS (@SussexCoDE_EMS) January 8, 2017
By Saturday evening, the snow in New Castle County tapered off, and in Sussex county the snow changed over to flurries, however, with the high winds that was blowing the snow, continued to limit visibility for motorists throughout the night.
Gov. Jack Markell issued a limited state of emergency in Sussex County, urging drivers to stay off the roads and, in New Castle County, officials urged motorists to only drive if they must.
DelDOT also encouraged drivers who have to be on the road to stay at least 10 car lengths behind and not try to pass them. Driving closer risks motorists getting hit by salt, ice or brine.
One car near Claymont collided with a plow truck during the early morning hours on Friday on Governor Printz Boulevard. In total, Delaware State Police officers responded to 94 crashes and 23 disabled vehicles statewide during the heaviest hours of the storm, between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday.
The snow had also canceled several events and closed some businesses during the storm.
According to data obtained from the National Weather Service, by mid-afternoon Saturday, the storm stretched from North Carolina up the Northeast coast.
Snow by the numbers:
Selbyville 10 inches
Bethany Beach 7.1 inches.
Laurel 8 inches of snow.
Dover 5 inches
Smyrna 6.2 inches.
Northern New Castle County 2.5 inches.